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You will not believe what Facebook just said

Facebook tackles click-bait

Yesterday, Facebook announced that it is making changes to its News Feed in order to reduce the number of click-bait headlines.

On top of a second alteration to the preferred method of sharing links, the social media site has said that it needs to make changes to the News Feed to ensure that the content that users share is not drowned out by click-bait.

Click-bait headlines are a growing concern for the online publishing world. Typical of sites which create content for social media, they are often found on Buzzfeed, Upworthy, and more recently, the Huffington Post.

Today on Upworthy, a headline reads “I Was Disgusted For The First 6 GIFs. My Opinion Completely Changed When I Reached The Last One.”

The US based Digital Marketing Consultant Jeremy Smith, on his website, has said the reason click-bait headlines are so successful is because they create a need for resolution in the people who read them:

“This is the same basic principle that skilful authors use when they craft a great novel… Article titles aren’t novels, but they pack the same sense of cognitive disequilibrium into the space of just a few words. The result is the same. We want resolution.”

Facebook’s new resolution

Now Facebook says it is targeting this kind of headline, with the aim being to reduce the frequency of click-bait appearing in the News Feed.

Facebook has said that when asked about their preference, over 80 per cent of people say that, in their News Feed, they prefer headlines which allow them to know what the content of the article is without having to click through.

Facebook said:

“Over time, stories with “click-bait” headlines can drown out content from friends and Pages that people really care about.

“We’re making these changes to ensure that click-bait content does not drown out the things that people really want to see on Facebook.”

Rachel Hand, head of content at theEword said: “This is another example of Facebook working to show content people really want to see. Just earlier this month a study showed that most young people will use the platform to research local businesses, and Facebook must cater to all of these kinds of interest to make its service desirable.”

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