Facebook bans forced sharing. Good or bad?

▲Photo from the Associated Press

The changing algorithm of Facebook is no longer news, and no longer surprising to us editors or any digital marketing professional. In fact, the changes on Facebook are not universal around the world, but gradually implemented by region. For example, everyone’s post background image may differ, some may have the newer images earlier, while others have to wait a while before they catch up. The difference in time is also shown in the recent Facebook policy in Taiwan, something that is starting to gain notice:

What is forced sharing on Facebook? You must have seen or even hosted a Facebook posting activity, like “Like and share as a public post to enter the prize draw”. For Facebook, this type of suggestive sharing requests is forced sharing. If such a post is discovered on Facebook, the visibility would drop to almost zero.

We can look at this from a different angle, and guess what different people may think of this policy:

For the client: What? How would I increase my diffusion rate now?
For the client: Great, the agent can’t use a low-interest prize as an excuse for a failed event.

For the user: Good job, Facebook. I really had it up to here with those force sharing brands! 

For the agent: Hmm…, if I can’t encourage sharing, what do I do?
For the agent: Fine, you banned forced likes, now you ban forced sharing!
For the agent: Great, I finally won’t have to create these posts which the client calls a direct impact, but without insight!

In practice, we have discovered creative measures in response, such as ending the post with “Fans who wish to enter the draw, you know what to do!” to avoid posting the word “share”. This could be a temporary workaround, but I feel if we are honest and optimistic, we should embrace the new restriction. It forces you to go back to what the consumer is thinking about: what kind of topic and content can really create a diffusive effect, and rid the post of the standardized boring styles. That would truly take advantage of the social network. Your target was never the phantom group of prize drawers anyway!  

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