Facebook Cracks Down On Clickbait With An Update To The News Feed

facebook click bait

Facebook recently announced some some improvements to its News that promise weed out posts that users don’t want to see anymore because they’re too “spammy”.

Facebook will be updating its News Feed algorithm to reduce click-baiting headlines, and to help people see links that Facebook says are in the “best format”.

Facebook’s Plans To Crush Click-Bait

Facebook defines “click-bait” as:

“Click-baiting” is when a publisher posts a link with a headline that encourages people to click to see more, without telling them much information about what they will see. Posts like these tend to get a lot of clicks, which means that these posts get shown to more people, and get shown higher up in News Feed.

According to results from a survey conducted by Facebook, 80% of the time people would rather see a headline that provided enough information for the user to decide if they wanted to click through to read the whole article.

Facebook believes that posts with “click-bait” headlines may eventually bury the content you actually care about, such as posts from friends and your favorite pages.

Facebook will determine what looks like click-bait by looking at how much time is spent reading an article that someone was linked to from Facebook. The idea is that the content is valuable if more time is spent reading the article versus immediately clicking back to Facebook.

Another thing Facebook will look at is the ratio of people clicking on the content compared to the amount of people commenting on and sharing it. If a lot of people click on the link but don’t engage with the pose, Facebook will take that as a sign that the content wasn’t of value.

Facebook Wants You To Share Links In The Preferred Format

Facebook has found that people would rather click on links that are shared as link posts versus links that are shared as image posts with a link in the photo caption.

The link format shows some additional information associated with the link, such as the beginning of the article, which makes it easier for someone to decide if they want to click through. This format also makes it easier for someone to click through on mobile devices, which have a smaller screen.

Facebook’s News Feed will give priority to displaying links shared in the link-format, and show fewer links shared in photo captions. Going forward, if you’re going the share a link the best way to do it would be to just share it as a regular link post.

How Will This Affect You?

If you have a history of posting click-baity headlines with content that people don’t spend a lot of time reading, the Facebook says your reach will go down in the next few months. Otherwise it sounds like you have nothing to worry about.