You won’t believe what Facebook is doing to clickbait

See what we did there?

If you’re like us and are tired of seeing misleading and sensational headlines such as “Two strangers were asked to pose in a photograph together. You won’t believe what happened next”, then you’ll welcome Facebook’s latest announcement.

Once again, Facebook are cracking down heavily on clickbait articles and your news feed is about to be given a well-deserved reality check.

In a bid to reduce exaggerated stories and fake news, the following 3 updates have been introduced:

  • Clickbait will now be taken into account at the individual post level in addition to the domain and page level.
  • Examine two separate signals — Whether a headline withholds information or if it exaggerates information separately.
  • Anti-Clickbait filters will be tested in additional languages.

In essence, Facebook are more determined than ever to push clickbait posts lower in the News Feed to create space for authentic communication.

Facebook says its new effort is an improved one because it looks at clickbait-detecting signals on individual posts rather than determining if a post or page is guilty of a number of joint factors. This is monitored in a way similar to email spam filters. According to the engineering team at Facebook, a team reviewed thousands of headlines to identify large sets of clickbait headlines. From there, they identified what phrases are commonly used in clickbait headlines that are not used in other headlines.

What does this means for brands? Publishers that depend on reeling users in with clickbait headlines and false link articles should expect their reach to take a dramatic hit. To avoid an impact from these changes, pages should refrain from posting headlines that withhold information required to understand the content of the article and headlines that exaggerate the article to create misleading expectations.

It is recommended that brands are aware of Facebook’s publishing best practices when posting for optimum results.

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