Facebook today announced that it is cracking down on posts it deems as “click bait,” or headlines that try to convince people to click on content that they aren’t actually interested in.
The social media giant surveyed its users about content in their News Feed, and unsurprisingly found that 80 percent of the time, people preferred informative headlines versus click-bait headlines.
As a result, Facebook is analyzing how long people spend on articles they find on their feed. They’ll use that info to weed out the posts that feature more click-bait type headlines.
“With this update we will start taking into account whether people tend to spend time away from Facebook after clicking a link, or whether they tend to come straight back to News Feed when we rank stories with links in them,” the company wrote.
Facebook will also compare number of clicks to the amount of people discussing and sharing a given post. Articles that have lots of clicks but few engagement numbers will notify Facebook of possible click-bait material.
In addition, the company is prioritizing posts that do not include manually inserted links, like the post below:
Rather, it wants page owners to use Facebook’s link format that automatically shows associated information like a picture or the first paragraph of a story when a link is shared.
Facebook notes that “a small set of publishers who are frequently posting links with click-bait headlines that many people don’t spend time reading after they click through may see their distribution decrease in the next few months.”
“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,” the company wrote.