Have you ever felt that some headlines on your Facebook News Feed exaggerated so much and you got deceived and clicked into it? Facebook understands this, and is implementing Facebook Clickbait Update to remove such headlines from your News Feed.

In the year 2014, Facebook has started fighting against Clickbait headlines. However, the actions taken weren’t enough to stop these clickbait headlines from appearing. It is because of such Clickbait headlines that is making users doubt the relevancy of content they are reading and is driving them away from their feeds. With that being said, Facebook is determined to put an end to these Clickbait headlines.

 #1 What Is a Clickbait?

Firstly, Facebook Clickbait is aimed to generate online advertising revenue by having a dramatic headline or eye-catching visual, just to gain a high click-through rate. As such some marketers are using these Clickbait headlines to gain the reader’s attention. It is said that these headlines are aimed to leave readers feeling cheated, mislead, or otherwise dissatisfied with what they have clicked into.

Some example Facebook shared includes:

  1. “When She Looked Under her Couch Cushions And Saw This… I Was SHOCKED!”
  2. “He Put Garlic In His Shoes Before Going To Bed And What Happens Next Is Hard To Believe”
  3. “The Dog Barked At The Deliveryman And His Reaction Was Priceless.”

Here are some other examples of clickbait headlines you will be seeing a lot less of:

#2 Does Clickbait Headlines Only Appear On News Feeds?

Clickbait may be a new term but it is definitely not a new method Marketers are using to draw readers eyeballs to their content. As we acknowledge that we have seen many of such Clickbait headlines on Facebook, there have been other platforms that have used such strategy too. Examples include, serious publications like The Washington Post and Cable News Network (CNN) are using clickbait headlines.

Examples of some publications using Clickbait Headlines.

#3 Why is Facebook Clamping Down on Clickbait?

The news feed is built and aligned with it’s, Facebook’s News feed values. This includes “Friends And Family Come First’ as their primary focus, along with “Authentic communication”. These two values have been violated by many marketers, which is why Facebook is creating a Clickbait. The authenticity of the feed is being destroyed by such Clickbait headlines that trick readers to click on. Many readers have been faced with too much spammed and irrelevant content, and such Clickbait post is bound to appear at the top of their feeds. Thus, Facebook is taking action in creating the feed to contain more of friends and families stories as the top few posts users will see.

#4 How is Facebook Monitoring Clickbait?

In 2014, some actions Facebook took when dealing with clickbait headlines was the duration of the reader’s time spent in reading an article. If readers click on the article and spent a certain amount of time reading, it meant that the content was of value to them. However, if they click and immediately go back to their feed, this proves that they have clicked on a post that was not relatable or relevant to them at all. This was one of the factors that Facebook used to determine which post should be shown lesser on reader’s feed.

However, this was not enough to counter the rise of Clickbait headlines. Thus, this year, Facebook placed more efforts in identifying such headlines by splitting them into two different guidelines.

Firstly, if the headline does not provide information required to understand what the content of the article is. Secondly, if the headline exaggerates the article to create misleading expectations for the reader, Facebook will identify them as Clickbait headlines. There will be a certain phrase used to narrow down which headlines falls under the clickbait category. Those that matches the phrase will be sifted out and chances are their posts will be shown lesser due to the credibility of its clickbait headlines.

Here are some examples of further explanation of how Facebook validates Clickbait headlines.

  1. “You’ll never believe what happened to my pet dog and daughter when I left them at home …” withholds information required to understand the article (Did anything happened?)
  2. “Carrots are actually bad for you?!” misleads the reader, as only excessive intake of carrots are bad for you.

#5 Why Should You Care About Clickbait When Creating Content?

This is crucial because Facebook came up with the system which identifies if your post has a Clickbait headline. It generates out the web domains and pages these posts are coming from. Thus, these links that have been identified as a clickbait headline, will be penalized with lower placement in the News Feed. Also, if marketers are highly reliant on click-through, there may be chances whereby your page reach and web page traffic will start to drop.

CONCLUSION:

As Facebook Clickbait update begins to kick it, marketers should avoid relying on misleading headlines. In fact,  Facebook have provided some of the best practices  when creating headlines. Facebook continuously advise marketers not to remove crucial information and the exaggeration while creating headlines. With such practices, you will have nothing to worry about your post being classified as a Clickbait.


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Norman Yeo
Norman Yeo is the General Manager of Tangy Lab Group Pte Ltd, a social media agency dedicated to help companies to fulfill their marketing objectives through Digital Marketing. Norman has helped various organizations, from SMEs to MNCs, to build brand loyalty and achieve actual ROI from Digital Marketing. He has increased his client’s reach & engagement by more than 25 times, and generated ROI on Sales of more than 15 times for them. Some of the notable companies he has worked with include 3M Singapore, The Hourglass, NTUC, Sime Darby (Thrifty Car Rental), CapitalMall Asia, AVAYA, SPH Plug & Play, etc.