search marketing social networking

You’ll Never Believe Facebook Did This!!!

Written by Kurt Steinbrueck

shockedDo you hate headlines like the title of this blog post?…Headlines that try to entice you by piquing your curiosity, but which don’t actually give you enough information to decide if you’d really be interested?  I do and so, apparently, do the folks at Facebook and they are trying to do something about it.

In a recent blog post, Facebook announced that they have updated the algorithm used for the newsfeed to try to detect “click bait” and cause those posts to not show up in people’s newsfeed as much.  So, what is “click bait”?  According to the authors of the blog post:

“‘Click-baiting’ is when a publisher posts a link with a headline that encourages people to click to see more, without telling them much information about what they will see. Posts like these tend to get a lot of clicks, which means that these posts get shown to more people, and get shown higher up in News Feed.”

Snap 2014-09-17 at 01.30.18These are posts like the one to the right ->

It seems like it might be interesting, but then again, you don’t really know what the story about and, all too often, the real story is much less interesting than the headline.

In order to address click bait, Facebook will be watching how long people take to come back to Facebook after clicking a link.  If a lot of people are coming right back within a second or two, it’s probably click bait.  If most take a couple minutes to come back, then it’s probably a truly interesting piece of content.

Facebook is also looking at how many clicks a post gets compared to how many shares, likes, and comments it gets.  If there are a lot of interaction, then it’s probably legit.

So, if you’ve been using click bait headlines a lot, life’s about to get worse for you.  If you’re sick of seeing click bait posts, then life’s about to get a lot better. 🙂

So, what do you think?  Share a comment below and let us know.

  • Do you think click bait is annoying?
  • Have you ever posted click bait posts?  Did you find it actually helped you grow you audience?

About the author

Kurt Steinbrueck

Kurt Steinbrueck is the Director of Marketing Services with OurChurch.Com. He also serves on the leadership of Family of Christ Lutheran Church in Tampa, FL. You can find him on Google+ as .

11 Comments

  • I wonder… if people are clicking and then not sharing a link, is anyone other than the friends/fans of the click-bait post seeing it? If not, it's not really an issue is it?

    I also wonder if Facebook is applying this filtering just to regular posts or also to ads and boosted posts? Seems like this would be more of an issue with ads and boosted posts, but the cynic in me doubts FB would filter those and return the money to the advertiser.

    • Good questions Paul. Facebook didn't specify on whether it was for just regular posts or also ads/boosted posts. If it does apply to ads and boosted posts, part of me wonders if it will be equally applied to ads purchased for a certain number of displays as it would for ads that are pay per click.

  • I agree with your comment, Paul. Paid advertising will probably be exempt from much scrutiny, especially if refunds are involved, lol.

    • I tend to agree. I doubt FB is going to cut down their revenue. Then again, if they find that it negatively affects user interaction and user satisfaction, they decide it's worth losing a little revenue in order to keep their audience.

  • Looks like much ado about nothing. Why not allow natural selection to take effect? Those who continually fall for the same bait will eventually perish — like fish in a fishing tournament.

  • Hi Kurt, this great article released in 2014 🙂 Today I viewed it, still found it very useful for the social medial marketing, nice~ Have you released any other articles of the subject? 🙂

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