We’ve all done it – clicked on a link in our Facebook News feed because the headline seemed ambiguously exciting, only to be led to a page with spammy, low quality content. It’s disappointing and annoying, because it clogs up news feeds and can bury more worthy sites, stories and links further down the feed.
Facebook is fed up with ‘click bait’ too, fearing that if it is allowed to continue it may bury content that users actually care about, such as their favourite sites and posts from friends. In a recent survey carried out by Facebook, it was revealed that 80% of users would rather see a headline that detailed what was in the link, in order to give users a better idea of what was in the whole article.
To tackle the problem of ‘click bait’ Facebook has recently announced that it is taking measures to clamp down on it by changing the News feed algorithm.
Facebook will decide what headlines are ‘click bait’ by looking at how much time is spent reading the article. If the user immediately clicked back to Facebook, it is likely that the headline did not match the expectations of the user who did not go on to fully read and engage in the content.
If you want to make sure your Facebook posts don’t fall foul of any changes to the Facebook algorithm, take some advice from the company itself: it advises that posts are presented with some of the text of the linked article displayed, showing the user that your content may be of interest and worthy of a click. It is better to present your posts like this, rather than as posts that are simply a photo with a link in the caption.
And as always, the decision lies with the reader whether to click off a link as soon as they’ve opened it. Make sure your content is engaging, original and interesting, and your posts will still find their way to people’s news feeds.