“For many necessity is mother of all inventions. But for some (like Facebook) necessity is mother of all initiative.”

Facebook has done it again.It’s going after low quality webpage experience. Target is to update its News Feed platform. Why! As per Facebook core belief, to make public more acknowledged and informative as a community.

FACEBOOK GOAL: TARGETING LOW QUALITY WEBPAGE EXPERIENCEAs a member of informed community,ask yourself. what to expect when scrolling through News feed? You want to view some irrelevant post like “Eat this and never diet again!” or you want to view relevant one like “Is President Trump any closer to impeachment!”

Answer to this is pretty obvious. Actually, it’s the letter one that matters. However, what if former scenario occurs? Some questions do pop-up in your mind. Is this post providing me any unique experience? Am I wasting my time on Facebook? Or is this information fulfilling my needs?

Not to worry! Facebook has answers to all your questions. Through a major update, on may 10th 2017, it tend to counter mis-informative, sensationalistic and unsolicited posts. In fact, this update will minimize impact of clickfarms, clickbait, pop-ups, valueless banner ads, sexual or shocking contents, organic social post and interstitial. With milestone of achieving 2 billion users in-sight, Facebook can avoid disappointing any more of its users.

This step is an ultimatum to marketers and publishers. Somehow this step look synonymous to google 2014 panda 4.0 update. Since then quality and relevancy of google web pages has improved. By 2016 google,for sake of its user experience, intended to roll out ad blocking in desktop and mobile version.

WHY IS THIS ALL NECESSARY?

News Feed was launched in 2006. Since then it had pump billions in ad revenue. Facebook wanted to remain loyal to News Feed core values. In august 2014, it decided to provide subjective, personal and unique stories which matter most to users. For this purpose it updated News feed to reduce clickbait headlines, like those UPWORTHY and BUZZFEED use. This Update evaluated time user spend on visiting page. This step separated relevant contents from clickbait. Ultimately, low-quality sites declined to bottom of search engines. This deprived such sites from purchasing social Giant’s ads.

Recently, in US 2016 presidential elections, Facebook came under fire for spreading “fake news”. It took this denunciation with gravity. Reason was; Facebook got devoid from playing a major role in influencing voter.  Consequently, in January 2017, to dissociate authentic stories from spurious onesFacebook updated its News feed. This further augmented unique experience for users. It assessed personal contacts, measured engagements (like comments) and then some to rank posts!

Through may 10th 2017 update, Facebook reviewed thousands of web pages. Facebook Artificial Intelligence ranked irrelevant posts lower on its News feed platform. additionally, on may 17th 2017, Facebook post another update. This update assessed clickbait at individual level rather then at domain or page level. It also checked clickbait headlines withholding or exaggerating information.

FACEBOOK CONTENT POLICY

As per Facebook policy:

  • Publishers are prohibited to provide Unexpected or disappointing user experience.
  • Any content deprived of its originality is considered as a low quality content.
  • Pop-ups, interstitial, click farms, clickbait, sexual or shocking contents, valueless banner ads, organic social post and excessive adverts to contents ratio fall within ambit of low-quality posts.

Furthermore, Facebook uses an Artificial Intelligence to convey user’s actions in News feed. Some examples include, Hiding a post, un-following the author, viewing the post later or turning on-and-off notification.

HOW FACEBOOK AIMS TO REDUCE LOW-QUALITY WEBPAGE EXPERIENCE

DECLINE IN INCENTIVES FOR PUBLISHERS AND MARKETERS

In June 2016, Facebook updated its algorithms.It prioritize friends and family’s post over those of publishers. Likewise, this update, in News feed, will hurt publishers and marketers. Low-quality webpages, per above mentioned criteria will be characterized as an ineligible ads. This will see decline in traffic. Ultimately, for publishers this will make monetization on traffic difficult.

Even though Facebook can lose insignificant number of ad impressions. Not to mention, losing negligible quantity of ad revenue. Over next few months plans are to get this new updated algorithm entrenched in its platform.

However, according to fortune 500 google and FB account for more than three-quarters of US digital ad… Click To Tweet Thus, Publishers intentionally resort to such practices who cannot make money from their contents. Such practices of pop-ups, interstitial, valueless banner ads to name the few are used as last resort. With this in mind, now marketers must assess News feed and watch content value to increase incentives.

NATIVE AND VIDEO ADS VALUED OVER BANNER ADS:

Back in 2016, FB planned to remove 75% of volume comprising low quality banner ads. Click To Tweet Clearly banner ads do not drive value any more. This step portrayed it success and strategy. According to Victor Wong, CEO of PaperG:

“Rather than fight a losing battle, Facebook is changing the battlefield and focusing on bringing its strenghts, mainly audience, to new battle fronts where it has a strong chance of winning, like emerging ad formats such as non-standard size ad units and native formats of display advertising”

 

The New York Times, in late 2016, acted in similar fashion. It planned to move away from standardized banner ads towards proprietary display ads. Reason was lack of creativity driving down ad prices. As for Yahoo, a web portal, it rose to prominence in part by selling banner ads. But Yahoo tend to follow Facebook and Twitter in embedding ads into a stream of content on mobile. Reason was consumption coming in forms of streams like Yahoo’s mobile app.

LESS NUMBER OF ADS VIS-À-VIS CONTENTS:

Websites using disproportionate amount of ads, in relation to contents, will witness decline in ad revenue. This update will promote content authenticity and give meaningful user experience. This includes advertisement, and not legal obligations such as cookie policies or logins to private content, like paywalls. Additionally,coherence is required in content and the amount of ads posted. Any aberration can harm entire digital ad ecosystem and SEO of social Giant.

SITES WITH LOW QUALITY ADS PENALIZING:

Traffic and ad revenue can decline for publishers with ads and posts containing Pop-ups, interstitial, click farms, clickbait, sexual or shocking contents, valueless banner ads, organic social post. Reasons are:

  • Click farms generate revenue from users linking to misleading websites. This hurt users credibility.
  • Websites like “Times of India” use annoying Pop-ups and clickbait. This hinder users experience.
  • Websites like Forbes use full screen interstitial ad before you can read its articles. Its mostly characterized without any value to users.
  • Valueless banner ads are clearly not driving revenue for Facebook platform.
  • Organic social posts have declined in reach. Reasons are too much competitiveness on content visibility and sole focus on content relevancy.
  • Other related sexual, shocking, disruptive and malicious ads create immoral tendencies.

Admittedly, sometimes it’s useful, but other times for sake of gaining unique experience such posts become irrelevant.

MAKING OPTIMAL USE OF AI (ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE)

Facebook business model is based on acquiring data about users. It then transfer that data to advertisers – getting money in return. Finally, it uses obtained amount to reinvest in more futuristic functionalities. However, Question remains how Facebook obtain such plethora of data in first place. Since May 2016, to provide right content to right users, it has firmly used Deep learning techniques. It includes:

  • Facial recognition
  • Text analysis
  • Target advertising
  • Content controlling
  • And other AI applications like “FBLearner Flow”

Seeing that, by early 2017 Facebook has employed more than 150 people with triple investment. This section process power for AI and machine learning research.

Whatever happens, publishers and marketers can expect some repercussions from this update. Facebook is still amazed how many people click on these links. It is doing its best to keep negative user experience at lowest ebb. Indeed, to develop informed community, Facebook extended the scope of its Artificial Intelligence like:

To conclude, Facebook is doing its best to make a community safe.FACEBOOK GOAL: TARGETING LOW QUALITY WEBPAGE EXPERIENCE

According to Andrew Bosworth, VP of ads, Facebook, ” we are really going after the worst of the worst. The people who are going to be affected by this are not going to have defenders”. With such sincere efforts it can continue to be the homepage of the internet for near future. Above all it’s a clear triumph for Facebook. Question remains WHAT’S NEXT?

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