If you’re posting content on Facebook, don’t go out of your way to encourage your audience to click. Also: why Neil Patrick Harris doesn’t imbibe in a beer commercial—and why the Beer Institute likes it that way.
“You’ll never believe what this association just did!!! CLICK HERE to find out more ->”
If the headline on your most recent post resembles anything along these lines, Facebook is gunning for your cheap tactics.
On Monday, the social media giant announced it would start changing its algorithms to discourage clickbait items on its network, in an effort to improve the quality of users’ feeds. How does it plan to do that? By tracking how long users stay away from the site after clicking on a link.
“With this update we will start taking into account whether people tend to spend time away from Facebook after clicking a link, or whether they tend to come straight back to News Feed when we rank stories with links in them,” the company’s Khalid El-Arini and Joyce Tang wrote in the announcement.
Another change worth noting: Facebook will now start pushing content creators toward link posts with images embedded in the article, rather than image posts with links embedded in the caption. Get ready for your strategy to change.
Hold, Don’t Sip
Neil Patrick Harris is America’s sweetheart, but don’t expect him to drink a beer on television.
Last month, the How I Met Your Mother star and four-time Tony Awards host shilled in a series of commercials for Heineken, in which the joke was that he couldn’t drink the beer due to some unspoken regulations he wasn’t fully grasping.
But don’t blame the government for those regulations, PunditFact warns—those haven’t existed for decades. Don’t blame television trade groups like the National Association of Broadcasters, either; it lets its members (a.k.a. the television networks) set the standards.
The truth is that beer industry groups tend to voluntarily avoid having actors drink beer in their commercials, the idea being to avoid any new formal regulations. Plus, it ensures that the commercials air on as many networks as possible—and it avoids taking chances in the meantime.
“The fact that it is self-regulated now, that’s not something brewers would want to put in jeopardy,” the Beer Institute’s Megan Kirkpatrick told PunditFact. “It’s the way they have operated for decades. You show a lot of people enjoying a football game or enjoying a baseball game, but you don’t show any consumption. I don’t think you’re going to see that change.”
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