If you use Facebook, chances are you are more than familiar with “clickbait” articles and you either ignore them or go ahead and well… click. These articles are really quite annoying and they just litter newsfeeds even if they are ignored for days on end. Indeed, just when it seems like everyone is doomed to a life of clickbait-littered newsfeeds, Facebook decides to do something about.
What are Clickbait Articles?
Before getting into the meat of the matter on why Facebook is cracking down on such articles, you may first want to get a clearer idea of where these clickbait articles come from and what they are for. Clickbait, also known as link bait, is the term used to talk about a type of web page or hyperlink that lures visitors in and entices them to keep clicking just to read an article. Most of the time, these clickbait articles or links will bring the clicker to a new web page or tab that requires payment for them to continue reading or will bring the clicker to the beginning of a series of pages that contains the rest of the article. Most of the time, these clickbait articles come with highly provocative headlines that actually have very little to do with the actual content of the article.
Content writers and social media managers are encouraged to be more transparent in what they post on Facebook and this means not just posting a picture, a link, and a provocative title but providing a description on what the readers will see once they click. They are also encouraged to concentrate on delivering content with actual meaning and not just chase an algorithm. They should remember that it is better to focus on the content, rather than the posting method they use.
What Does Facebook Plan to Do?
Clickbait articles are a royal pain and since Facebook recently found out that people preferred headlines that actually told them about what they are about to read (the exact opposite of clickbait articles), they decided to crack down on clickbait articles. This is a welcome move for the social media site. Facebook also stated that part of the reason for the crackdown is because they are afraid that such articles will eventually drown out other important feeds and articles that their users actually want to see.
This is a very interesting and a rather strong move for the company so just how do they plan to make the changes? Below are the top 2 ways that they plan to do to implement their anti-clickbait campaign.
- Facebook team members will carefully monitor just how much time people spend viewing the content that a link leads to after they click on it. If, after they click the link, they immediately go back to Facebook, the action might suggest that they went to the site and did not see what they wanted, which is a sign that the article could be a clickbait.
- The Facebook team will monitor the ratio of people that click on a certain content and compare that to the comments and shares that it gets. In the event that a lot of people click on a link, but do not end up liking or commenting on it when they return to Facebook, that is again a sign that it was probably a clickbait article.
Aside from cracking down on these clickbait articles, Facebook has also announced that they might just do the same to “like-baiting” posts that ask users to “like” it directly. Major changes are happening at Facebook these days, and it is hopefully to improve on what its users see on their newsfeed.