One Weird Trick That Will Change Facebook Forever
Clickbait titles work. And they’re really, really annoying. It doesn’t matter how many you’ve seen, the allure of finding out what’s behind “10 Secrets Company X Doesn’t Want You To Know!” and “This One Weird Trick Will Change Your LIFE!” is simply too strong. But Facebook is starting to fight back.
Anyone who follows Facebook’s development from behind-the-scenes knows that the somewhat mysterious “News Feed algorithm” is in a constant state of flux. It’s important to pay attention to this because that algorithm is the difference between having a social media presence that’s bringing in new clients or just shouting at the dark. While nobody can tell you the exact formula for showing up more frequently, one thing is for sure: if people click your link more than others, Facebook thinks it’s worth showing to more people.
Clickbaiters just can’t help themselves. Turning every article headline into a vague warning or promise to expose some shocking secret, clickbait headlines began to get a lot of attention and take advantage of the constant engagement that drove readers to their website and social media.
Fortunately, Facebook is making new alterations to their algorithm to punish clickbait headlines by identifying key words and phrases that typically lead to these lamentable links. By using these new rules, the news feed ranking for articles deemed to be clickbait will be lower, reducing the chance of seeing that style of content versus updates more relevant to your interests.
Facebook did clarify that this punishment isn’t permanent against companies that frequently utilize clickbait, stating that “Links posted from or shared from Pages or domains that consistently post clickbait headlines will appear lower in News Feed. News Feed will continue to learn over time — if a Page stops posting clickbait headlines, their posts will stop being impacted by this change.”
For typical users and advertisers, this is entirely positive. If you have good content to share, you don’t need to hide it behind clickbait headlines. Not only should this help legitimate content end up in the feeds of relevant users, any step to purge pointless content goes a long way towards keeping users from abandoning ship to the next big platform.