Facebook’s Click Bait Crackdown

“You won’t believe what this girl did next”

“What Kim said to Kanye will leave you speechless”

“You’ll never guess which common fruit is a best kept weight-loss secret”

You may have noticed an increase in posts with headlines like these when scrolling down your Facebook news feed lately. These are known as “click bait” headlines – usually referring to a sentence or two designed to get the reader to click on the link, with little detail about the content of the article mentioned in the actual headline.

Posts like these get a lot of clicks (if you can believe it), which means that they get shown to more people, and move higher up in users’ news feeds. Unfortunately for publishers and other new media startups who now actively use click baiting to gain traction, Facebook has noticed this increase too.

The social network recently announced that it intends to “weed out” click-baiting in an attempt to improve the quality of content displayed and reduce the noise that these stories bring to users’ news feeds. Facebook will do this by making algorithm changes which will stop click bait content from reaching users’ news feeds.

By tracking the length of time that the user spends away from Facebook once an article has been clicked on, Facebook will be able to devalue certain content in the news feed. For example, if a user clicks on an article and only spends a few seconds reading it before returning to Facebook, the article will move down in the news feed.

Pretty clever, right? It’s good news for Facebook users, but not so much for the brands that employ click baiting as a money making tactic. It’ll be interesting to see how these brands work around Facebook’s algorithm.

From Digital Trends.