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


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.

One change Facebook announced recently that could definitely affect marketers today is the decision to downgrade photos with links in the caption.

After hearing that posting photos is the key to engagement on Facebook, many page admins would post a photo along with a link, in an effort to drive traffic back to their website.

However, as Facebook made their link share post more visual, the company wanted higher adoption. Many pages still prefer to post a photo with a link in the caption, but those kinds of posts will also carry less weight in Facebook’s News Feed algorithm. A lot of the struggle with this decision, Mak says, comes down to control over images. There’s no size customization of the image preview in the link post, and vertical photos can often be cropped in an unflattering way.

Mak talked with Inside Facebook about why brands would rather post a photo with a link than a link with an image preview:

They’ll have content that basically describes what the image is about, then throw in a shortened link. I get it. They want to have more control over the images that are posted, often times because they have great original content. They’re a publisher. They have all these amazing assets and they feel that content is more relevant to their brand experience. That makes a lot of sense from a content strategy perspective.

The challenge is now they may get penalized when they’re not posting links (with Facebook’s like format). The reach may be reduced, and that remains to be seen. If they’re concerned about that, they can use publishing tools (like ours) to customize that data.

Mak offered three main tips to publishers or companies scared about these latest changes:

  1. Don’t freak out
  2. Think about the customer’s journey, not just the number of clicks
  3. Look into using social media management tools to help with this

Readers: How are you adapting to Facebook’s latest changes?

Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.