Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 68° Partly Cloudy
News >  Business

Facebook wants users to stop asking for likes

In this Monday, June 19, 2017, file photo, a user gets ready to launch Facebook on an iPhone. Facebook has announced it would begin “demoting individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait.” (Elise Amendola / Associated Press)
In this Monday, June 19, 2017, file photo, a user gets ready to launch Facebook on an iPhone. Facebook has announced it would begin “demoting individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait.” (Elise Amendola / Associated Press)
By Gene Marks Special to the Washington Post

There are more than 70 million small business pages on Facebook as well as billions of users. For many freelancers, publishers, bloggers, celebrities, small business owners and corporations, Facebook is used not only to engage a community but also to show off to others – prospective customers or clients – just how big their community is. To do that you need likes, so it’s common to find many on the social media site begging for others to like their pages.

Well, Facebook wants that to end. Why? Their audience tells them that for many, it’s just too much noise.

“People have told us that they dislike spammy posts on Facebook that goad them into interacting with likes, shares, comments, and other actions,” two company representatives said in a company announcement. Starting this week, the company said, it would begin “demoting individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait.”

If you aggressively build your Facebook audience to expand your business, be forewarned: During the next few weeks, Pages that “systematically and repeatedly use engagement bait to gain reach in the News Feed” will be subject to demotion.

What is “engagement bait”? Requests for users to “vote on your goals,” “follow this page if you’re an Aries” or “share with your friends for a chance to win a new car!” are all considered to be “spammy” things done to reel in potential followers. Facebook wants to encourage users to follow pages where there’s engagement, authenticity and better web experiences, and to avoid those that send out sensational or misleading information.

The company draws the line at posts asking for help or recommendations, raising money for a cause, searching for a missing child or asking for tips. If you’re doing those things you’re OK.

So as you head into the new year, and if your Facebook presence is an important part of your business, you may want to readdress how you’re gaining likes to your page and possibly adjust what you’re doing. Otherwise, it looks as if Facebook will make those “adjustments” for you.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.