Facebook has released new guidelines in the Help Center that are meant to help you understand the kinds of content they recommend to others and provide context on why some types of content aren’t included in recommendations. This latest move to help improve transparency includes a listing of topics and themes that are not eligible to be highlighted within the recommendation sections of the site.
“We make personalized recommendations to the people who use our services to help them discover new communities and content. Both Facebook and Instagram may recommend content, accounts, and entities (such as Pages, Groups, or Events) that people do not already follow. Some examples of our recommendations experiences include Pages You May Like, “Suggested For You” posts in News Feed, People You May Know, or Groups You Should Join.“
These guidelines are good to have and keep in mind, as Facebook doesn’t tend to be super transparent on how its internal systems operate. Here’s what you need to know!
Facebook has stated that there are five categories of content that are allowed on the platform, but not eligible for its recommendation surfaces.
1. Content that impedes Facebook’s ability to foster a safe community
- Content related to self-harm or suicide
- Content that depicts violence, sexually explicit or suggestive posts
- Content which promotes the use of certain regulated products (ex: alcohol or vaping products)
- Updates shared by any non-recommendable account
This is important to note for businesses that deal in the alcohol and tobacco industry, even though those brands are already very aware of the regulations about their industries.
2. Sensitive or low-quality content about health or finance
This includes content that:
- Promotes or shows cosmetic procedures
- Exaggerates health claims
- Attempts to sell products or services based on health-related claims (such as a weight-loss supplement)
- Promotes misleading or deceptive business models (like payday loans)
3. Content that users broadly dislike
This includes things like:
- Engagement bait
- Contests and/or giveaways
- Posts which include links to low-quality or deceptive landing pages or domains
This one is important to take note of, as it concerns contests and giveaways. Even though the platform won’t help amplify your promo through its recommendation tools, you can still rely on sharing to boost your content.
Facebook has other rules where this topic is concerned, which we’ve broken down in one of our previous posts!
4. Content associated with low-quality publishing
- Unoriginal content, largely repurposed from another source
- News content which doesn’t include information about authorship
- Content from websites that get a disproportionate number of clicks from Facebook versus other places on the web
If your company has multiple Pages, double-check your strategy. If it involves taking updates from your main business page and reposting them to other accounts, that could be limiting your potential reach.
5. False or Misleading Content
- Claims that have been found false by independent fact-checkers
- Vaccine-related misinformation
- Content that promotes the use of fraudulent documents (e.g. someone sharing a post about using a fake ID)
As mentioned, any page that posts content that falls under one or more of the above categories can still operate on Facebook and build followings through shares and engagement, but the platform will limit any additional exposure.
How much of an impact that has on brands is hard to say at the moment, but the more exposure, the better, so try to stay within the rules!
For the full breakdown of these new recommendations, go here.
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