Facebook’s latest clickbait purge is going to have ripple effects for publishers.
The social giant is putting an emphasis on articles that are important to people and recognizing that clicks, shares and comments aren’t necessarily the best indicators of that.
“The core change in the Facebook paradigm is that engagement will become more valuable as opposed to just click-through rates and the quantity of clicks. They’re starting to talk about quality,” said Moti Cohen, CEO of Apester, which helps publishers optimize their content for social media.
Facebook announced the algorithm update this week, part of the ongoing effort to lower the visibility of publishers with weak content while raising the profiles of substantive ones.
As always, publishers that have become more reliant on traffic from the social network are left wondering who wins and loses as a result. Here are some possible winners and losers — until Facebook decides to change things up again, at least:
Winners In-depth content The websites that post high-impact, original stories, and ones with longer analysis that hold readers’ attention could benefit from the new order of Facebook posts. Legacy publishers like The New York Times could see a lift with original reporting and in-depth articles. A publisher like Slate, with its long-form pieces, thinks it has an advantage.
“We believe in prioritizing editorial quality and audience engagement and loyalty over the pursuit of sheer scale, and I’m glad Facebook has tweaked the algorithm,” Slate editor-in-chief Julia Turner said.
Interactive content Since time spent on the page will be a crucial factor, it’s important to draw readers down the rabbit hole, Cohen said.