Social media best practices

Facebook’s latest algorithm change meant to suppress clickbait headlines

Facebook rolled out a few more algorithm changes last month meant to further downgrade clickbait headlines in the news feed.

The recent algorithm change builds on changes Facebook started on last year, according to update from the Facebook newsroom. Last year’s update targeted the Upworthy-style headlines that readers were seeing a lot of in their news feed.

The most recent changes targets clickbait headlines in two specific ways:

  • if the headline withholds information
  • if it exaggerates information separately

The changes also apply to nine languages, indicating the tactic persists beyond U.S. publishers.

A post on Tech Crunch showed an example of a clickbait post that would be impacted by the algorithm change. The headline included the words “you’ll never believe.”

If you’re a publisher, should be concerned about the recent algorithm change? The answer is only if you are using certain phrases such as “you’ll never believe” or “you’ve got to see this.”

We all want readers to click through to our content, but we don’t want to trick them into doing it. For more examples of great tone for Facebook that encourages readers to click through without using clickbait, see this blog post with examples from other GateHouse Media sites.

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