To improve the Facebook experience, Facebook is unleashing a system designed to detect clickbait headlines. Facebook staffers Alex Peysakhovich and Kristin Hendrix announced today that Facebook will use a filter system that targets links containing clickbait headlines.#Facebook cracks down on clickbait headlines. Click To Tweet
“Similar to how many email spam filters work,” says Peysakhovich and Hendrix, “our system identifies posts that are clickbait, and which web domains and pages these posts come from. Links from or shared from pages 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.”
Peysakhovich and Hendrix describe clickbait headlines as headlines that “withhold information required to understand what the content of the article is” and “exaggerates the article to create misleading expectations for the reader.”
So what’s with the vehemence against clickbait headlines? Articles with clickbait headlines tend to build certain expectations from readers, expectations that the articles fail to meet. This leaves the readers dissatisfied and annoyed— and Facebook doesn’t like it when their users aren’t happy.
Will this new change lead to the complete annihilation of pesky clickbait headlines plaguing our news feed? Will it change the way the media writes? Possibly. After all, Facebook drives a lot of traffic to news and entertainment websites. If they are vying for social media attention (and Facebook is a great place to promote, thanks to its 1.4 billion users), then they will likely comply to Facebook’s rules to remain on top of users’ news feed.