Facebook Will Limit the Spread of Video Clickbait in News Feed

Facebook will begin demoting posts containing two kinds of video clickbait

Facebook announced its plans to limit the spread of video clickbait in News Feed.

Specifically, Facebook is taking aim at posts containing fake video play buttons, as well as videos containing a static image.

In a Facebook Newsroom post, Facebook engineers Baraa Hamodi, Zahir Bokhari and Yun Zhang elaborated on these deceptive posts:

People want to see accurate information on Facebook, and so do we. When people click on an image in their News Feed featuring a play button, they expect a video to start playing. Spammers often use fake play buttons to trick people into clicking links to low quality websites.

Similarly, these deceptive spammers also use static images disguised as videos to trick people into clicking on a low quality experience.

To combat these kinds of posts, in the coming weeks, Facebook will begin demoting stories containing images with fake video play buttons and videos containing static images.

The three engineers also explained how this change will affect publishers:

Publishers that rely on these intentionally deceptive practices should expect the distribution of those clickbait stories to markedly decrease. Most Pages won’t see significant changes to their distribution in News Feed. But, as always, publishers should refer to our publishing best practices.

This move is part of Facebook’s larger effort to improve the overall News Feed experience. Other recent updates have focused on eliminating cloaking, stopping the spread of fake news, and more.