As a Facebook page manager for a range of brands, I know one thing is important; to drive likes, shares, and comments. And the primary goal for most page managers is to stimulate a conversation on your brand’s Facebook page by posting engaging content.
However, Facebook is changing the rules— again. A recent announcement by Facebook has indicated they will be cracking down on ‘Low Quality’ content such as memes, unrelated content and posts that will solicit for ‘likes.’
You may have seen those popular cat photos or funny images with a witty caption that keep getting recirculated online, those are some of the popular memes seen today. A meme is defined as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena, according to Wikipedia.
Facebook released an official explanation on the new development:
“While the goal of News Feed is to show high quality posts to people, we wanted to better understand what high quality means. To do this we decided to develop a new algorithm to factor into News Feed. To develop it, we first surveyed thousands of people to understand what factors make posts from Pages high quality. Some of the questions we asked included:
- Is this timely and relevant content?
- Is this content from a source you would trust?
- Would you share it with friends or recommend it to others?
- Is the content genuinely interesting to you or is it trying to game News Feed distribution? (e.g., asking for people to like the content)
- Would you call this a low quality post or meme?
- Would you complain about seeing this content in your News Feed?
Nothing new or different — all popular posts get seen on people’s wall. But read this:
“We used the results of this survey to build a new machine learning system to detect content defined as high quality. The system uses over a thousand different factors, such as how frequently content from a certain Page is reported as low quality (e.g., hiding a Page post), how complete the Page profile is, and whether the fan base for a particular Page overlaps with the fan base of other known high quality Pages. Coming up with an algorithm to detect this is complex, and we will continue to refine it as we get more feedback.
According to a Facebook source quoted by TechCrunch, memes will be targeted specifically & deemed “low quality”:
“Pages producing some low quality, meme content can expect to see a slight decrease. Pages that are exclusively posting low quality, meme content might see a bigger drop. The magnitude of the change will be greatest for Pages creating high quality content. Generally, these Pages should see increased distribution.”
On the plus side, this makes a stronger push for relevant content that is meaningful to the users. There are many marketing companies who do quick social media posts consisting of memes or unrelated content just to generate ‘Likes’ or post for the sake of posting.
In addition, page managers still have the option to use the promotions ads to highlight important content.
While the new changes will lift some eye-brows, there are still silver linings in the cloud. What are your thoughts on the new changes?