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Facebook Moves Against Clickbait

Matt Peters
September 02, 2016

Facebook has announced a new update to their News Feed algorithm that should please users. This is in addition to a previous update to Facebook’s News Feed that they hope will further improve the user experience.

With this update, people will see fewer clickbait stories and more of the stories they want to see higher up in their feeds.”

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Everyone who has used Facebook has encountered these clickbait stories before. “The Dog Barked At The Deliveryman And His Reaction Was Priceless!” Or “You Wont Believe What Happened When He Said The Wrong Name During His Wedding Vows!”

And as quickly as you can read those headlines, you can identify them as clickbait and scroll right past the articles. It is easy for us to identify what is real against what is clickbait. But how does Facebook make that distinction?

Facebook announced through an official Newsroom release that they will use a “system that identifies phrases that are commonly used in clickbait headlines.” This will work in a similar manner to an email Spam folder. Without giving away any specifics about the phrases, they mentioned two key points they are looking for:

1. If the headline withholds information necessary to understand what the content of the article is.

Or,

2. If the headline exaggerates the article to create misleading expectations for the reader.

This newest update will also give News Feed the ability to learn and adapt to certain tendencies of users’ posts. This allows Facebook to ensure that users or Pages that continuously post clickbait will see their reach greatly diminish for all posts. When a Page stops posting clickbait material, their posts will stop being impacted by the change.

How can you avoid any impact from this change?

The simple solution is to avoid the criteria that Facebook classifies as clickbait. in your posts. You’ll want to be sure to use informative headlines, and headlines that set appropriate expectations. Writing meaningful headlines can make all the difference.

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