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Spambook: How Story Bump Rewards Spammers and Fake Likes
Posted on September 13th 2013
For a long time now Facebook have meddled with the News Feed, and their Edge Rank algorithm is largely responsible for determining what you do or don’t see appear in your Facebook feed. Ever wondered how you managed to miss a post from one of your friends? That’ll be Edge Rank at work.
Of course there are individual settings which will also have an impact; for example you have the option of manually turning off some or all of the updates from your friends, (not advertisers), but what you see on your wall is mainly down to Edge Rank doing it’s thing.
“Popularity is the new currency, giving spammers
even more incentive to buy fans and fake likes”
In a recent article I revealed how despite grossly misleading consumers and making outrageous, unsubstantiated claims in direct contradiction with their own published guidelines, scammers are allowed to advertise on Facebook with complete impunity. In it’s wisdom, Facebook has now decided to reward spammers who purchase fake fans and likes.
Previously, posts were shown in a (largely) chronological order which makes perfect sense and meant that if you wanted to see older content, you simply scrolled down to it. Now however, content is much more mixed and posts that are a day or more old will now be appearing at the top of peoples feeds if they have generated a lot of engagement.
Buying likes is the logical step, leading to more spam and low quality content
Facebook claims this helps users to not miss popular content. I say rubbish, this simply gives Facebook the excuse to show ‘popular’ posts at the top of peoples feeds for longer. This gives advertisers new incentive to buy artificial popularity in the form of fake ‘likes’ which can easily be purchased to get even more exposure, ensuring they benefit from the longevity that fake engagement will provide to them.
Story Bump Has Resulted In a Worse User Experience
Over the past month, I've found that my experience of using Facebook has been compromised and it is much harder for me to see what I want to see, which I find inconvenient and irritating.
I am now seeing posts i’ve already read remaining at the top of my feed – why? What purpose does this serve apart from irritating me and making me have to go and hunt out new content? When i’ve already read something I don’t want to read it again! I want to move on and presenting posts in chronological order was effective at allowing me to do that with ease.
It’s Now More Tempting Than Ever To Buy Fake ‘Likes’
For SME’s who don’t have a vast budget or community following and for those who are ethical and choose not to buy fake fans or likes, these latest changes make it even harder to obtain visibility because the odds are now stacked against anyone seeing their posts.
It is estimated that just 15% of Facebook followers will see a post from a business page and of this 15%, content is now highly unlikely to appear at the top of peoples feeds unless it is popular, making it even less visible. This means that SMEs are fighting what appears to be a loosing battle right from the start.
These latest changes which started their roll out on August 6th 2013, make Facebook an even less viable marketing tool for SMEs with limited budgets and once again favours unethical spammers who simply need to sink a few hundred dollars into buying fake fans and likes to get maximum visibility for low quality/value content.