Social media giant Facebook has announced its plans to add ‘context labels’ to posts from pages that appear in people’s news feeds.
These labels are being added to help users understand what type of page produced the article or post they’re seeing. Examples of the sorts of labels pages may receive are “Satire Page”, “Public Official” and “Fan Page”.
In a tweet last week, Facebook explained the new labels:
“Starting today in the US, we’re testing a way to give people more context about the Pages they see. We’ll gradually start applying labels to posts in News Feed.”
These labels will hopefully help users better understand the content being presented to them from various pages. For example, content from satirical pages can appear to be genuine news pieces, and if a user isn’t aware that the page is satirical, they could take the post at face value. For example, here’s a recent post from satirical news site The Onion. If someone wasn’t aware that the page is all satire, they may believe this and start directing at the police or the fictional perpetrators.
With the new label, this won’t be the case, and it is hoped this will reduce the spread of misinformation.
Since Facebook’s announcement, there have been some concerns over what the labelling process will entail, and if labels will be correctly applied. However, in an FAQ released by the social network on the new labels, it stated that pages would be able to label themselves as Satire Pages in order to avoid confusion. Presumably, if pages are able label themselves as satirical, other pages will be able to label themselves accordingly too.
Currently, this testing is only set to affect the US, but as with all major updates on the web, it’s never long before they make their way to our shores too. Administrators of pages should keep an eye out for these new labels and make sure that, if and when they’re released, they’re labelled correctly to make it clear to users what type of page they are.
Establishing who you are and what it is you do is key when building an online presence for a business. If you’d like to have a chat about this with our team at Engage Web, give us a call or get in touch using our contact form.
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