It seems that the writing is on the wall for click-bait articles – well at least on Facebook that is. That’s because the social networking giant has recently announced plans to crack down on the amount of ‘spammy’ content that appears in people’s news feeds.
If you’re not familiar with the term ‘click-bait’, it basically refers to those eye-catching headlines that you often see, which are designed to be alluring and arouse your curiosity, but don’t actually give you much information as to the content you’ll ultimately find.
This is a perfect example of click-bait:
It doesn’t even tell you which celebrities and you have to click-through to find out more. These types of posts tend to get a lot of clicks, which means that they inevitably get shown to more people and often appear higher up in News Feed.
Click-bait articles with leading statements that misrepresent the content they conceal often get marked as spam once a user returns to Facebook. Click-bait is not just frustrating but can also drown out more personal content from friends and family.
In fact, according to Facebook, 80% of its users prefer headlines that are informative and allow them to decide if they want to read an article before they have to click-through to find out what it’s about.
But how are Facebook going to weed out this low-quality content? In two ways apparently…
First, they’ll track the amount of time a person actually spends reading the article before returning to Facebook. The idea is that spam content will see people bouncing back to Facebook pretty soon after clicking. Longer periods of time, however, will be spent reading more valuable content.
The second way Facebook will try and show fewer of these stories is by analysing the ratio of people clicking VS the amount of likes and shares the content gets. If a lot of people click a link but very few like or share it, then chances are it wasn’t valuable to them and, therefore, shouldn’t be ranked so highly.
So if you’ve been using click-bait to attract people to your content, it’s definitely time to think up a new strategy.