What should you learn from Facebook’s clickbait-free News Feed?

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If you’re tired of headlines emphasizing that your mind will be blown or that you won’t believe what happens next, you’re not alone. Facebook recently targeted clickbait headlines as part of its mission to make the News Feed more relevant, but what does this mean for content publishers on the site?

If you’re producing quality and relevant content, that announcement shouldn’t be a problem for you, according to Adobe Social’s Senior Product Marketing Manager, Lawrence Mak. Mak said that the only publishers who should worry about future content plans are those that try to game the algorithm.

Facebook wants you to play within its rules, meaning no deception in links and no links in photo captions, when posting content. Mak told Inside Facebook that quality content publishers shouldn’t see much of a dip because of Facebook’s decision to lighten up on deceptive headlines:

Facebook has always encouraged companies to post focused, engaging content for their audience. That ensures the experience that they have with that brand in News Feed is high value and highly relevant and therefore leads to more engagement and reach over time. I don’t think that this is something that most brands should be worried about. If you are not being shady on Facebook, you shouldn’t be too affected by the change.

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Facebook wants to know why you hide ads

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Facebook users hide ads for several reasons, but now the site is making a greater effort to understand why.

Facebook announced today a few changes in the ad feedback process. When someone clicks to hide an ad, Facebook is making it easier for the user to explain why, such as the ad was irrelevant or repetitive. Facebook had been testing this process for quite some time, but now it’s fully rolling it out.

Product Manager Max Eulenstein explained the process in a blog post:

We’ve learned that the reason why someone hides an ad can be just as important as the hide itself. If someone doesn’t want to see an ad because it’s not relevant to them, we know we didn’t do a great job choosing that ad and we need to improve. If someone doesn’t want to see an ad because it’s offensive, it probably isn’t a good ad for other people on Facebook, either.

With this update, News Feed is going to take into account the reasons why people give us for hiding an ad. When we identify an ad like this, we’ll show it to fewer people on Facebook.

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Facebook and death: Using social media to grieve and memorialize

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For many of Facebook’s estimated 1.3 billion active users, the social media platform has become an extension of their lives. Nearly every event is shared out with friends near and far. But what happens after that life has come to an end? Facebook has cornered the market on death too.

In yet another indication of how social media continues to take over our lives, over the last few years Facebook has become a place where users can process death. We come here to grieve for those we’ve lost, connect with family to celebrate and toast the lives of loved ones and even join the larger online community in remembering those who have passed on.

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Facebook is sucking out our brains one satire tag at a time

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In the latest sign that the movie “Idiocracy” was a work of prophetic genius, the big-brains behind Facebook are testing out new [Satire] tags, so that unsuspecting ideologues the world over will stop sharing fake news articles as the real thing. Because we’re all too stupid to know the difference and because we obviously care less that Facebook is sucking out our brains.

Currently in a very limited testing stage, the tags appear only in the “Related Articles” section and only after a user has clicked on a satire article. When the user comes back to the page, the tag prefaces the titles of a similar nature. So it’s subtle in a “here’s some hindsight for you, dummy” kind of way.

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Facebook cracks down on click-baiting, promotes native link format

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Tired of shady techniques used by publishers to get you to click? So is Facebook. The company announced Monday that it is battling this tactic (click-baiting) by punishing pages who use this technique to get traffic to the website.

In a Newsroom blog post, Facebook explained how the site will determine a click-bait headline:

One way is to look at how long people spend reading an article away from Facebook. If people click on an article and spend time reading it, it suggests they clicked through to something valuable. If they click through to a link and then come straight back to Facebook, it suggests that they didn’t find something that they wanted. With this update we will start taking into account whether people tend to spend time away from Facebook after clicking a link, or whether they tend to come straight back to News Feed when we rank stories with links in them.

Facebook cited a survey where 80 percent of participants preferred headlines that helped them decide if they wanted to read the full article before clicking through.

The site also made another change for publishers who rely on links.

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Facebook relaxes News Feed ad frequency limits

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Facebook is constantly trying to balance user experience with marketing potential in its News Feed. Upcoming changes to the News Feed will alter the frequency with which users see a certain ad.

As first reported by Digiday, Facebook is loosening restrictions on ad frequency within its marquee product. An email sent from Facebook to advertising agencies illustrates three key changes:

  • A single ad can be inserted in News Feed up to twice per day (up from one).
  • Ads from a page that a person is not connected to can be inserted into News Feed up to twice per day (previously only one per page, per day).
  • Ads from a page that a person is connected to can be inserted into News Feed up to four times per day (remains consistent from before).

A Facebook spokesperson told Inside Facebook that this will not mean that users see more ads in News Feed:

This does not change ad load. We will not show more ads; rather, we are updating the spacing between ads, and relaxing some of the parameters around insertions of ads from the same advertiser.

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Facebook testing ‘Satire’ tag

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You might have at least one Facebook friend who thinks that Morgan Freeman is really dead, or some satirical Onion headline is the truth. Facebook wants to stop the sharing of satire as fact, as the site is testing a Satire tag on posts from The Onion and other similar sites, according to Ars Technica and sister site AllFacebook.

The tag only appears on the Related Articles module that appears after a user clicks on a link within News Feed.

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Inspiration is the new currency for Facebook likes

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The Facebook marketing free ride is over (in case you haven’t heard), and brands are scrambling to find a free way to interact with potential clients. So what is the new currency for Facebook likes?

When thinking of an insurance company, a college or a temp agency, most people don’t look to be inspired. And yet, on Facebook, that is what many companies are doing to reach their customers and continue to thrive as the social media giant continues to evolve.

Does it work? Will it continue to? Yes and not for long.

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Facebook’s notification icon spins to global location

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Facebook’s notification icon is one of the most clicked-on parts of the screen — and now it has a new little aesthetic twist.

As first pointed out to Inside Facebook by Matteo Gamba and Ugur Samut, CMO of Medigo, the location of the globe logo is now localized to the user’s location. U.S. users see North and South Americas in the logo, while users in other parts of the world will see their area.

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The Brave New World of Facebook mind control?

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Some folks are complaining Facebook could affect how you feel via manipulating your News Feed.

Facebook released research on 689,003 users that had their levels of positive or negative News Feed content adjusted. Not surprisingly, their moods and words they used changed correspondingly with what they were exposed to.

But consider this: If your sports team wins, you’ll be more likely to make a celebratory remark.

If a friend is having a bad day, you’re likely to provide sympathetic encouragement.

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