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In an effort to reduce the number of clickbait videos on its social media platform and improve user experience of videos, Facebook has announced two new updates which will effectively demote clips that are essentially a set of images strung together to promote products and businesses. These spam videos usually contain links to low quality websites or are still image disguised as a videos.
Facebook employs algorithms which promote prolonged videos. In order to trick users into visiting low quality websites, spammers have exploited this algorithm and garnered more clicks on their static videos and directed users to malicious websites. Some of these videos were conning Facebook's algorithm by just uploading static memes or images as 10-second video clips.
According to Facebook’s announcement, “Publishers that rely on these intentionally deceptive practices should expect the distribution of those clickbait stories to markedly decrease. Most Pages won’t see significant changes to their distribution in News Feed.” The blog further elaborated that users want to see accurate information on Facebook. “When people click on an image in their News Feed featuring a play button, they expect a video to start playing. Spammers often use fake play buttons to trick people into clicking links to low quality websites,” the blog explained.
Ever since the US elections, Facebook has adopted an aggressive strategy against fake news and is actively trying to remove fake news and spam videos. It is doing so by tailoring its news feed algorithm to analyse the content being posted on the platform.
Facebook has started rolling out the two updates to reduce the clickbait appearing on users newsfeed.