Facebook Updates News Feed to Reduce Click-Bait Headlines and Show Links in the Best Format!

Aug 26, 2014 | 1,137 views | by Ritu Sharma
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Facebook has announced a couple of improvements to News Feed to increase the visibility of interesting posts and reduce the appearance of spammy stories. The first improvement reduces the frequency at which click baiting headlines appear in News Feed and the second update is to help users see shared links in the best format.

Reducing Click-Baiting Headlines

When someone posts a links with a headline that makes the readers click without giving them much idea on what to expect inside is called click-baiting. Such posts are shown to more people and appear on the top of News Feed because they tend to get more clicks.

Click Baiting Headlines Facebook Updates News Feed to Reduce Click Bait Headlines and Show Links in the Best Format!

However, Facebook users say, 80% of the time they prefer headlines which helps them determine what is in for them and whether or not they want to read it before clicking on the headline. So, in order to determine what looks like click-bait, Facebook will now take into account the time people are spending to read an article away from Facebook. If people spend time going through it, this indicates they liked reading the article whereas if they click on the link and come back straight to Facebook means they did not find it valuable.

Moreover, Facebook will also look at the ratio of people clicking on the link compared to people talking about it and sharing it. If the data shows that a lot of people are clicking on the link but only a few of them are sharing it, this means they didn’t find what they were looking for.

Sharing Links in Status Updates

Facebook says it will now show links in the link-format, and show fewer links shared in captions or status updates.When a link is shared on Facebook, it either appears with a large image, headline and a little text:

Link format Facebook Updates News Feed to Reduce Click Bait Headlines and Show Links in the Best Format!

While in some cases links are shared in status updates or in the text caption just above the images.

Link in Photo Caption Facebook Updates News Feed to Reduce Click Bait Headlines and Show Links in the Best Format!

Facebook says, users prefer to click on those links that appear in link-format rather than those that are buried in photo captions.

The link-format is preferred because it shows the beginning of the article, making it easier for the users to decide whether they want to read it. This format is also compatible on mobile devices and that is why posts with links in the link-format get twice as many clicks as links embedded in photo captions.

According to Facebook, publishers who have been posting links with click-bait headlines that people spend less time reading, may witness a decrease in their distribution in the coming months. The updates are most likely to ensure that click-bait headlines do not wipe out the content actually valuable to the users.

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24.thumbnail Facebook Updates News Feed to Reduce Click Bait Headlines and Show Links in the Best Format!
Ritu from PageTraffic is a qualified Google Adwords Professional and Content Head at PageTraffic. She has been the spear head for many successful Search Marketing Campaigns and currently overseas Content Marketing operations of Page Traffic in India.