What is ‘Clickbait’ and Why Facebook Banned It

what is clickbateAs one of the most popular social media channels worldwide, many companies use Facebook to promote their content and encourage users to visit their website to read more. But not all companies and publishers do this in an open way. Many will go to any means necessary to attract Facebook users to leave Facebook and visit their website instead. One of these means is known as “clickbait.” Here’s a look at what clickbait is and why Facebook is cracking down on it.


What is clickbait?

Clickbait is a tactic many online publishers and companies use to attract traffic from Facebook, to their website. It involves using an enticing, but often misleading headline, to spark curiosity and encourage users to click. These baiting headlines often contain little information about what the content actually covers, and instead use sensationalism to pull users toward the content and get them to click through to it.


The information on the other end is usually either not what it was made out to be, and can even be complete spam.


Why is Facebook cracking down on it?

Facebook’s ultimate goal is to give its users a good experience on Facebook. If they can achieve this for their users, they can keep them on the site longer which pays off for the company in the long run. Facebook users are more likely to stay on Facebook and click on advertisements they’re being shown if they trust and generally enjoy the content being provided. Clickbait jeopardizes this, and thus can jeopardize Facebook’s monetary gains.


The crack-down on clickbait is just one way that Facebook is trying to improve user experiences and protect the money it earns from advertisers.


How is Facebook cutting down on clickbait?

In Facebook’s attempt to eliminate clickbait and keep user experience in check, Facebook is looking into different metrics to determine which companies and publishers are promoting clickbait type content.


One way Facebook is doing this is by paying attention to time spent–the amount of time a user spends on a piece of content after they’ve clicked on a link. The idea behind this is that users will spend more time reading, watching, or listening to a piece of content that divulges the information its headline promised it would. On the other side of the spectrum, clickbait style headlines should cause users to click away from the content much sooner since the headline was misleading or sensationalised. This is the type of content Facebook will show less of in Newsfeeds.


How can businesses be unaffected?

If you’re publishing content to Facebook and you want to make sure this content continues to be shown to your fans, you need to be careful about how you craft your titles. Keep your headlines realistic by being honest about the information users will receive by clicking. This is not to say your headlines cannot sound intriguing, but you need to call it what it is.


If you’re promoting valuable content, Facebook will award you for it.


If you want to ensure your content is unaffected by these recent Facebook updates, contact the Social Jeanie today to find out how you can create intriguing headlines that attract traffic to your website, while staying within these new guidelines.

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