Facebook, in a decision that could change the course of humanity as we know it, today announced that it’s going to “reduce click-baiting headlines.” That is, it’s going to give less relevance to post with headlines like the one we used on this post, and instead give preference to headlines that actually give facts and allow the reader to choose whether to read the story.
“Click-baiting” is when a publisher posts a link with a headline that encourages people to click to see more, without telling them much information about what they will see. Posts like these tend to get a lot of clicks, which means that these posts get shown to more people, and get shown higher up in News Feed.
Facebook says that a survey showed 80 percent of the time “people preferred headlines that helped them decide if they wanted to read the full article before they had to click through. Of course, that doesn’t do anything about the fact that we were all gullible enough to click on those links in the first place, but that’s neither here nor there.
Facebook today also recommended that publishers share stories not as images with links inserted in the captions, but in the proper link format, with Facebook using hidden metadata to parse out titles and images.
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