Facebook Announces News Feed Update To Reduce Click-Baits

Facebook has announced it is updating its News Feed ranking to further reduce clickbait headlines in the coming weeks. According to the company, “(w)ith this update, people will see fewer clickbait stories and more of the stories they want to see higher up in their feeds.

Facebook explained that the previous update meant to reduce clickbaits helped, the company is “still seeing pages rely on clickbait headlines, and people are still telling us they would prefer to see clearly written headlines that help them decide how they want to spend their time and not waste time on what they click.”

Describing its newest update, Facebook explained: "We are focusing more effort on this, and are updating News Feed by using a system that identifies phrases that are commonly used in clickbait headlines. First, we categorized tens of thousands of headlines as clickbait by considering two key points: (1) if the headlinewithholds information required to understand what the content of the article is; and (2) if the headline exaggerates the article to create misleading expectations for the reader. For example, the headline “You’ll Never Believe Who Tripped and Fell on the Red Carpet…” withholds information required to understand the article (What happened? Who Tripped?) The headline “Apples Are Actually Bad For You?!” misleads the reader (apples are only bad for you if you eat too many every day) [..] From there, we built a system that looks at the set of clickbait headlines to determine what phrases are commonly used in clickbait headlines that are not used in other headlines. This is similar to how many email spam filters work.

As to how pages will be affected, the post explained "that most Pages won’t see any significant changes to their distribution in News Feed as a result of this change. However, websites and Pages who rely on clickbait-style headlines should expect their distribution to decrease. Pages should avoid headlines that withhold information required to understand what the content of the article is and headlines that exaggerate the article to create misleading expectations."

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