Facebook likes a clean internet… and that means sometimes it has to lay down the law and proactively wash its platform clean of the mucky content that can so quickly disseminate through its many billions of users. You see this from Facebook all the time — well, actually you don’t see it because Facebook actively stomps it out before it can flare up.
In reality, Facebook cares about its users. And it doesn’t want them to get duped by dubious articles intended to trick them into clicking off Facebook and onto a spammy website that, let’s be honest, will probably give their computer a slew of annoying viruses.
FACEBOOK KEEPING IT CLEAN
How does Facebook keep their platform clean?
Instant Articles — A feature introduced by Facebook recently that creates easy-to-read, mobile articles that reduce data use and server strain. These is just a grade A, clean-cut, streamlined way of delivering good content.
Filtering your news feed — You don’t see all the posts from all your friends, businesses can pay to have content pushed into your news feed, and people and pages you interact with more will show up more frequently. This is the infamous “algorithm” that everyone’s always talking about — the one that determines how to prioritize the mass amounts of content getting posted on their site every single day.
Why do they do this? It’s just… better that way. It also ensure that your news feed doesn’t get spammy and unmanageable, it drives businesses to pay Facebook money (instead of getting a free advertising platform) on ads and boosted posts, and it removes some of the stress from Facebook’s servers not having to push everything to everyone’s news feeds. Plus, it creates a “cleaner” aesthetic for their site.
WHAT IS CLICKBAIT
It’s kind of in the title, but let’s break it down. Clickbait is an article with a misleading or vague title intended to get you to click on it to leave Facebook and land on another page (that in turn gets revenue through traffic/pop-up ads/ and banner ads). And Facebook is finally cracking down on this.
You probably know them when you see them just based on the titles; “Wait until you see the end of the video, I was shocked!”, “The barista’s reaction to this customer is priceless!”, “what this garbage truck does with a couch is hard to believe.” — the titles have just enough specificity in them to entice a reader, but are vague enough that you’re required to click through (and stay for a certain amount of time on the page) before you’ll get the payoff of the article/video/story.
FACEBOOK’S CLICKBAIT CRACKDOWN
In Facebook’s own words, “we work hard to understand what type of stories and posts people consider genuine, so we can show more of them in News Feed. We also work to understand what kinds of stories people find misleading and spammy to help make sure people see those less.”
Facebook uses a couple of methods to determine if an article is clickbait or not.
- Duration on the site. Specifically, how quickly after clicking an article a user returns back to the news feed. This was a feature introduced some time ago, but isn’t entirely effective in eliminating clickbait.
- Article titles. This is the new method of crackdown that Facebook is implementing and they determine clickbait titles based on two factors.
- Whether the headline withholds information.
- Whether the headline exaggerates the article to create misleading expectations.
Facebook’s algorithm actively checks for these kinds of articles being shared and clicked on and over time they’re weeding them out of people’s feeds and off the platform.
PROTECT YOUR CONTENT FROM THE CRACKDOWN
How do you do this? Let’s build a set of guidelines based on Facebook’s own criteria:
- Create content that people want to read. If they click an article you’ve shared on Facebook, spend little time on that article and return to Facebook quickly then you’re likely not going to survive long on Facebook as your article will get buried in news feeds among other more desirable articles.
- Good titles. Don’t mislead your audience. Let them know exactly what they’re getting into and don’t be vague. This is building trust with your followers and will not only retain them as fans and customers but Facebook won’t actively squelch your stories.
HOW CAN FEAD HELP
Content is what we do. And good content is our specialty. If you’re having trouble with generating good quality content to drive leads then give us a shout. We can help determine what kind of content you need to be producing that will really increase your value as an expert in your field.