The tactic known as “engagement bait” seeks to take advantage of Facebook users’ News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement in order to get greater reach. It does so by posting spammy posts that provoke people into interacting with likes, shares, comments etc.
This month, Facebook has announced that it will begin demoting individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait, and is implementing stricter demotions for Pages that systematically and repeatedly use engagement bait to artificially gain reach in News Feed. Facebook will, however, make some exceptions, and posts that ask people for help, advice, or recommendations such as circulating a missing child report, raising money for a cause, or asking for travel tips will not be demoted.
This announcement is a move to make the content users see in News Feed as more authentic. According to Facebook, publishers and other businesses that use engagement bait tactics in their posts should expect their reach on these posts to decrease. Meanwhile, pages that frequently share engagement bait posts will see significant drops in reach.