Facebook Is Cleaning Up Its News Feed. Again

Facebook’s ever-changing News Feed algorithm has a new target in its sights. The latest update, announced earlier this month, aims to clamp down on shoddy links to dubious websites.

It’s no secret that Facebook constantly tweaks the algorithm that dictates what users see in their feeds. This latest adjustment focuses on the links that direct people to ad-filled, trashy websites.
In an article on Recode, one of the product managers at Facebook Greg Marra was quoted as saying that even if the links look okay in users’ feeds, they frequently send users to webpages “covered in disruptive, shocking, sexual ads.”

This isn’t the first time the company has cracked down on clickbait. They have made previous attempts by detecting patterns in headlines or noting which links users click and then immediately abandon.

In contrast to these earlier efforts, this time Facebook is using a computer model to scan webpages when they are shared to assess whether the content is spam or not.

Previously, Facebook has scanned webpages in search of metadata including headlines or images to help ascertain content. Now they are taking a closer look at the pages to find out if they are of value to the reader or simply full of adverts.

According to Marra: “This is one of the first times we’re actually using information from the experience that people will have once they click something to help inform the ranking in News Feed.”

This new algorithm will mean if a webpage is deemed unsuitable, the associated link will be pushed further down the News Feed and not feature in Facebook ad campaigns.

However, the question remains: will Facebook ever be able to do enough in the fight against clickbait?

Date Published : 15th of May 2017

Steve Odart

Published by : Steve Odart

About the Author : Steve Odart is the founder of Ixxus, with 28 years experience in the publishing industry. He started life at the London College of Printing, following his grandfather into the printing industry. He spent many years working with Quark through its launch of Quark XPress, and the Quark Publishing System, before setting up a publishing division within one of the UK’s largest Sun Microsystems Resellers. He then joined Oracle, as EMEA Business Development Director – Publishing and Media, prior to founding Ixxus in 2004. Steve has an extensive knowledge of publishing past, present and future, and has worked with the majority of the largest global publishers in his career to date.