We’ve all done it, we’ve seen a very suggestive headline on a news piece and said to ourselves “not interested” and want to move on. But we can’t, we have to click. The wording of the headline alone is drawing us in, we already know we don’t really care about the article but it’s just so suggestive!
This is clickbaiting. Linking to an article or off site landing page using headlines that are purposely suggestive or that misleads or leaves out information, encouraging the user to click through to the article.
These types of headlines are very tempting to use. Yes, they may bring more traffic to your page for a while but they also do you harm.
First and foremost, knowing you’ve been duped by a clickbait headline is annoying. So annoying in fact it would make you not want to see any posts from the page again. You may have only spent 3 minutes reading the article, but they were your 3 minutes and you feel as if you’ve wasted them! I’ve done it myself in the past, I’ve taken great pleasure in pressing the “Hide all posts from this page” button after realising I had been the victim of clickbait.
That brings me on to my second point. If Facebook deem a post as clickbait, they will punish you and show it to fewer people then also punish future posts by lowering the amount of people they’re seen by. Facebook even have a dedicated clickbait page on their help centre to give their reasons why they don’t like clickbait, saying it goes against their news values.
Using a system that detects clickbait headlines after a link is shared to Facebook, we identify the individual stories, as well as the Pages and web domains that consistently post or share links with clickbait headlines and reduce the distribution of their posts in News Feed.
Now let’s put you to the test. You know what clickbaiting is, you know how suggestive and misleading the headlines are, but can you resist this headline? Apples are actually bad for you!?