NEW YORK (PIX11) – Facebook will be making two major changes to the News Feed in an effort to cut down on spammy, “click bait” stories and bring users the breaking news that, according to surveys, they would rather be seeing.
The Silicon Valley company released a memo Monday outlining the changes and overall goals for News Feed. Sites like Upworthy, Buzzfeed, The Weather Channel and others may be in for a dip in traffic if they don’t change their social media strategies.
Click bait headlines — blind teases that effectively get people to click but don’t give much information — will be targeted, according to the memo. Because those types of posts are designed to generate clicks, they rise up in users’ News Feeds.
“Over time, stories with ‘click bait’ headlines can drown out content from friends and pages that people really care about.”
According to the survey, 80 percent of users are tired of being tricked into a click, and would prefer to have more information about the story in the post itself.
So what posts will be classified as click bait?
Facebook will be looking at two things — the first is how long people remain off of Facebook after clicking through to a story. If the story is interesting, they will presumably stay off of Facebook for a longer time. If people keep returning immediately to Facebook, it is more likely to be considered click bait.
The other click bait measurement is the ratio of clicks to likes, shares and comments — the more interaction the better the ranking.
Also soon to be a thing of the past is the post made of a photo and a caption with a small link following a colon or arrow. The post of the future may still include a caption explaining more about the story, but the entire post will be hyperlinked with no visible link.