Facebook are hammering down on posts with ‘clickbait’ titles. By updating their newsfeed algorithm in such a way that it reduces the distribution of posts that lead people to ‘click and then quickly come back to News Feed’ they hope to reduce the amount of ‘clickbait’ articles showing up in users’ feeds.
Focussing on this further, they have identified tens of thousands of headlines as clickbait by considering two key points:
- If the headline withholds information required to understand what the content of the article is
- If the headline exaggerates the article to create misleading expectations for the reader.
We’ve all seen the clickbait titles that are, generally, considered poor and lazy practice – “You’ll Never BELIEVE What Happened NEXT”; “When She Looked Under Her Couch Cushions And Saw THIS… I Was SHOCKED!” – Usually accompanied by a frustratingly cropped picture showing almost all of something that just might be interesting, this just might be the article you needed. And we’ve all given in to the draw of these articles once or twice – and always been disappointed in the ad-laden non-story that appears.
A team at Facebook reviewed thousands of headlines using these criteria, validating each other’s work to identify a large set of clickbait headlines.
They then built a system that looked at these headlines to determine commonly used phrases, similar to how many spam email filters work.
The new system identifies clickbait posts and domains that post them, dropping them lower in the News Feed in a hope to improve user experience.
How will this affect your Page?
Facebook stated in a Press Release: “We anticipate that most Pages won’t see any significant changes to their distribution in News Feed as a result of this change. However, websites and Pages who rely on clickbait-style headlines should expect their distribution to decrease. Pages should avoid headlines that withhold information required to understand what the content of the article is and headlines that exaggerate the article to create misleading expectations.”