Facebook announced through a blog post on Monday two major changes that will take place in the near future. The most important is the one aiming to eliminate click-bait headlines.
Click-baiting is so engrained in the Internet framework that we tend to think of it as a natural annoyance pertaining to the network. That happens because the Internet grew so rapidly that it was hard to properly understand and regulate the evolution.
““Click-baiting” is when a publisher posts a link with a headline that encourages people to click to see more, without telling them much information about what they will see. Posts like these tend to get a lot of clicks, which means that these posts get shown to more people, and get shown higher up in News Feed,” Khalid El-Arini and Joyce Tang from Facebook explained.
Facebook undertook a survey to find out what people think about the presence of click-baiting headlines on their newsfeed. What do you think people responded? About 80 percent of them said they would prefer to see headlines that will actually inform them about the content of the article. As such, they could take a decision on whether to read the article or not.
The decision will influence mobile users even more because of the different display size. Facebook is the most used mobile app in the U.S., according to a recent ComScore report on how apps are used.
Facebook upgrades its algorithm to eliminate click-bait headlines
This type of headlines tend to gather numerous clicks and climb up the newsfeeds, in the detriment of friends and other pages, according to the present algorithm. Facebook wants to upgrade the algorithm by taking two measures.
The first measure would be to count how long users spend on reading the clicked articles. The more time they dedicate to it, the more valuable it is. If they return to Facebook rapidly, the algorithm will take it as a sign of dissatisfaction and rank the story lower.
Another ‘click-bait’ indicator for the upgraded Facebook algorithm will be how much people interact with the Facebook post. Even if a post is clicked by many people, a reduced number of likes, shares and comments will reveal a potential ‘click-bait’.
Facebook will introduce another change related to posts. From now on, Facebook will prefer links to be visible in link format, as this is the version that yields the largest number of clicks, the blog post announces.
However, the attempt to eliminate click-bait headlines is one of the most fundamental changes made recently by Facebook to satisfy users, instead of advertisers.