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Clickbait on Facebbok Faces Down Upon

Clickbait on Facebbok Faces Down Upon
To reduce the amount of clickbait that users see, Facebook is changing its News Feed algorithm in an attempt to flex its publishing muscles.
Media companies will now have to comply with the site's editorial values or face a fall-off in social media referrals as they become increasingly dependent on Facebook in attracting readers.
The fact that people do not like clickbait headlines is probably no surprise. In the coming weeks, Facebook's algorithm will start playing editor to your News Feed to fix the pervasive problem.
Phrase that are commonly used to lure clicks, such as "You'll Never Believe Who Tripped and Fell on the Red Carpet ..." or "Apples Are Actually Bad For You?!" would be identified by the new virtual editor built by a team of engineers who analyzed tens of thousands of such clickbait headlines. Such headlines and posts would be pushed further down in the Facebook News Feed  - the scrolling stream of information.
Facebook's users have sometimes complained about stories with headlines that deliberately withhold key information and Facebook's updated algorithm will quash such stories with headlines. Such tacky headlines are used a tactic by publishers to drive clicks and digital ad dollars. Ranked higher up in people's News Feeds would be posts and stories that Facebook's algorithm "likes" — i.e., those it deems "genuine".
While the clickbait problem has persisted, it has managed to reduce the distribution of posts that people click and quickly return from by its updated News Feed algorithm.
"We're still seeing Pages rely on clickbait headlines, and people are still telling us they would prefer to see clearly written headlines that help them decide how they want to spend their time and not waste time on what they click," data scientist Alex Peysakhovich and user experience researcher Kristin Hendrix wrote in a company blog post announcing the changes.
There would definitely be implications for global newsrooms, which are increasingly at the mercy of social media to drive traffic to their websites by Facebook's updated strategy. Announcement for prioritization of user generated content over publisher posts was made by Facebbok less than two months ago.
A Pew Research Center and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation survey found that a majority of U.S. adults — 62 percent — get news via social media and 18 percent of them do so often. With 1.71 billion monthly active users in the U.S., Facebook is by far the biggest social network and it manages to reach more than two-thirds of U.S. adults. The study found that two-thirds of Facebook users would equate to 44 percent of the overall population who get news on the platform.
When Facebook's News Feed changes come into effect, certain publishers will be impacted more than others.
Getting more desktop traffic from social media and Facebook than any other U.S. or U.K.-based news site is BuzzFeed which virtually invented the clickbait headline. According to data analytics company SimilarWeb, Facebook made up 86.1 percent (189.3 million clicks) of the 50 percent of all of BuzzFeed's desktop traffic that came from social media (219.8 million clicks) in the second quarter of this year. SimilarWeb has noted that if Facebook continues to tweak its algorithm, publishers can expect to see further declines even as Buzzfeed saw a 5.95 percent decrease in Facebook visits from the prior quarter.
A recent study released by content discovery platform NewsWhip found that the most successful publishers have already shifted to so-called native content strategies to drive engagement. The Huffington Post (21.0 million), BuzzFeed (19.2 million), NBC (17.6 million), Fox News (15.7 million) and the BBC (15.7 million) were among the publishers who have racked up the most likes, shares and comments on Facebook in June.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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