MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA — The social networking website Facebook will soon begin to crack down on postings from companies that are deemed to be 'overly promotional,' the company announced on Friday in an attempt to offer its users more relevant content from their friends.
A statement from the California-based company said that results from an ongoing survey, in which hundreds of thousands of users participated, found that users wanted to see less promotional content on their News Feed from pages they had previously 'liked.' Those posts are different from advertisements.
"News Feed has controls for the number of ads a person sees and for the quality of those ads – based on engagement, hiding ads, etc. – but those same controls haven't been as closely monitored for promotional Page posts," a Facebook spokesperson said. "Now we're bringing new volume and content controls for promotional posts, so people see more of what they want from Pages."
Posts cited as 'too promotional' include those that solely push people to buy a product or to install an app, posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context, and posts that reuse the exact same content as used in advertisements.
Facebook said such 'overly promotional' posts will become less frequent beginning in January 2015, when the volume and content controls will be introduced. "All of this means that Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time," the spokesperson said.
The changes will not affect the number of advertisements that people see in their News Feeds. Facebook is the world's largest social networking website with more than 1.32 billion active users.