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These headlines, and many like them, have their days numbered, a.k.a ‘click-bait headlines‘ will soon say goodbye from your Facebook NewsFeed.
Facebook wants to clean our NewsFeeds from unwanted and spammy things, that’s why the company is taking a major action towards clickbaits. The announcement was made on this Monday in a blog post, Facebook Research Scientist Khalid El-Arini and Product Specialist Joyce Tang write that the company will take a two-pronged approach to fight spams.
No More Click-Baiting Headlines
Click-baiting headlines, a popular strategy to drive more traffic to a website, which force the users to click on the link without telling them much information about what they will see. Very occasionally, clicking turns out to be worth it, more often, it’s a total fraud, and users just wasted their time.
Click-baiting headlines often include phrases like “You won’t believe what happens next!”, “What this guy does is amazing!” and “The Reason Why Will Shock You!”
Facebook recently conducted a survey on some of its users and the result was, 80% preferred links with headlines that helped them understand what an article was actually about.
So, Facebook is cracking down Clickbaits from NewsFeed. But, how do they detects click-bait? Facebook has the answer:
One way is to look at how long people spend reading an article away from Facebook. If people click on an article and spend time reading it, it suggests they clicked through to something valuable. If they click through to a link and then come straight back to Facebook, it suggests that they didn’t find something that they wanted. With this update we will start taking into account whether people tend to spend time away from Facebook after clicking a link, or whether they tend to come straight back to News Feed when we rank stories with links in them.
Another factor we will use to try and show fewer of these types of stories is to look at the ratio of people clicking on the content compared to people discussing and sharing it with their friends. If a lot of people click on the link, but relatively few people click Like, or comment on the story when they return to Facebook, this also suggests that people didn’t click through to something that was valuable to them.
In short, click-bait contents are detected not only by the headlines but also the factors like time spend reading the given content and also social engagements.
Share Links the Way it Should be Shared
Considering the theory photo and text status updates get more engagement than standard link share, many marketers tended to attach links in text and photo updates. This was done in an effort to reach more people because their results showed that reach was higher with text updates than link shares.
But, according to Facebook’s research, people often prefer to click on links that are displayed in the link format (which appears when you paste a link while drafting a post), rather than links that are buried in photo captions.
Through this NewsFeed update, Facebook is reducing stories with links in status updates or in the text caption above photos and instead, gives priority to stories shared in the link format. “A small set of publishers who are frequently posting links with click-bait headlines that many people don’t spend time reading after they click through may see their distribution decrease in the next few months,” they write.
Top image via International Leisure Club
[…] significant move in making the user News Feed more appealing was the initiative to cut back on hoaxes, thereby checking the spread of false information. In order to maintain objectivity while flagging […]