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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Facebook pushes for use of conversion pixel

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Facebook’s conversion pixel is a key way for savvy advertisers to figure out how a Facebook ad can lead to a purchase.

Now it seems like Facebook is trying to make a bigger push for adoption. As noticed by Inside Facebook reader Matteo Gamba, Facebook is promoting the usage of the conversion pixel in the sidebar of News Feed.

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Facebook starting rollout of image-focused sidebar ads

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In April, Facebook announced that it is making the images in sidebar ads much bigger. The company recently notified Preferred Marketing Developers and ads partners that the ads will start rolling out today.

Facebook gave advertisers a timeline of the redesigned sidebar ads and warned that there will be a “moderate increase” in CPMs as more advertisers take advantage of the more visual sidebar ad format. These ads will also be subject to Facebook’s 20 percent text rule later this summer.

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Facebook will now wish you a happy anniversary

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If you’ve shared your dating anniversary or wedding anniversary on Facebook, the social network will now wish you, “Happy Anniversary!”

The well-wishes will only be sent if users log in on the day of their anniversary. Users will also have the option to share a photo collection of up to five photos where the couple is tagged.

According to a Facebook FAQ, unless you choose to share the announcement more broadly, only you can see your anniversary story. It will appear in your News Feed if you sign into Facebook on the day of your anniversary, and you will have the option of sharing.

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Facebook ads to become more relevant, say why they’re being shown

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Have you ever looked at some Facebook ads and wondered why they’re showing up in your News Feed or on your sidebar? Now, you can find out.

Facebook announced Thursday morning that the company is making advertisements more relevant, but also allowing the user to see the science behind the ad placement. The social network will make the ads more relevant by using data from page posts you like, posts you click on and Facebook advertisers’ apps you use. If you don’t want to be targeted in this manner, you can opt out.

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