Facebook kills off click-bait news you will not believe what happens next

no fishingThe days of social notworking sites supporting news sites which have introductions like “you will not believe what happened next” or “you will find this astounding” could be a thing of the past.

Facebook announced further plans to clean up the News Feed by reducing stories with click-bait headlines as well as stories that have links shared in the captions of photos or within status updates.

“Click-baiting” is the art of posting links with a headline without actually telling you much information. In other words, you click to see more, and you are not told enough about what to expect.

Posts get many clicks, which means that these posts get shown to more people, and get shown higher up in News Feed. However, they are as popular as the Boston stranger and 80 per cent of the time people want headlines that helped them decide if they wanted to read the full article.

Facebook’s News Feed algorithm now considers how long people spend reading the given content and the ratio of people clicking on the content compared to people discussing and sharing it with their friends.

If users click on an article, reading it, and maybe even came back to interact with it on Facebook, they clicked through to something valuable, while if they came straight back to Facebook and didn’t engage with the story it was probably click bait.

Facebook will be making ongoing adjustments so it is not penalising stories unnecessarily. However the change is expected to cane a publishers who do this and few will mourn their passing.

Of course they could provide news stories with a decent headline, like the old days but that is too much like hard work.