Publications and Pages releasing stories with headlines that are classified as "clickbait" might want to think twice before sharing them on Facebook. That's because the social network is into this type of content and will make sure it buries the post from users' News Feeds so that people will be less likely to see it.
Facebook announced on Thursday it is making yet another change to its News Feed algorithm to now reduce the amount of clickbait headlines so that users only see genuine and straightforward content that is most relevant to them.
Clickbait headlines are those that purposefully leave out information or "mislead people" in order to trick them into clicking on it so that page gets traffic hits. These include headlines like "You'll Never Guess What [Celebrity's Name] Did Now" or "The Dog Barked at the Deliveryman and His Reaction Was Priceless."
Now, Facebook's algorithm works similarly to how email spam operates and will detect clickbait headlines. The algorithm identifies phrases that are commonly used in clickbait stores, such as if it withholds information that is required to understand what is going on, or if the headline exaggerates or is misleading to the reader.
The algorithm then gives the article a score to determine if the headline is legit or more like spam. The higher the score, the lower that post will be exposed to those who like the Page where the article is from.
As a result, there will be a reduced amount of spammy links, and users will see articles with more informative headlines higher up in their feeds.
Of course, sometimes, publications use headlines that can be borderline bait-y, but are accurate and feature quality reporting. If a Page posts one or two articles that are detected as clickbait, they won't be punished by the algorithm. However, if a Page spams away all day long, posts from that account can pretty much be guaranteed to be hidden from Facebook users.
Since the News Feed algorithm will continue to learn over time, Pages that stop the behavior will then no longer be affected by the change.
Preventing clickbait articles from routinely showing up follows the company's new set of core values put in place for its News Feed to have "authentic communication" on the platform.
However, this isn't the first time Facebook has tackled this commonly complained-about issue. The company previously updated the News Feed to reduce the amount of posts on which people click and then go right back to Facebook after instantly finding out they don't want to view the content. The new algorithm further helps Facebook remove the spam.
This new change to Facebook's News Feed will take place in the "coming weeks."