Facebook is always altering how events are created, how groups are run, how its news feed prioritizes posts, or how ads are distributed. Each change draws tons of debate about its merits and drawbacks, and I typically find myself agreeing with most adjustments after I get used to the new layout.
Facebook just announced yet another change, and this one, I’m not just getting used to — I’m celebrating. Clickbait headlines are now going to struggle to win a spot on a user’s news feed.
What exactly is this new policy?
According to Facebook’s announcement:
“Websites and Pages who rely on clickbait-style headlines should expect their distribution to decrease. Pages should avoid headlines that withhold information required to understand what the content of the article is and headlines that exaggerate the article to create misleading expectations.” Read more here
In application, this means that publishers need to cover the who and what in the headline in order to increase their chances of earning those coveted clicks. Headlines and titles that cut out the subject or the purpose will be knocked lower down the totem pole, significantly decreasing the chance that someone will see them, open them, or read them.
However, the second part of this statement deserves more attention. Here, Facebook warns against “headlines that exaggerate the article to create misleading expectations.” Instead of creating these misleading expectations, cut out the problem altogether by publishing content that holds value in the first place. Not only does this eliminate any temptation to use clickbait headlines, but it forces your content to be relevant and worthwhile, benefiting your business and bumping up your chances of distribution.
The total emptiness of the content tucked behind clickbait headlines is a frustrating waste of time — and Facebook knows that. Clickbait is so universally despised because it tells you nothing. It is not informative. It makes you jump through hoops to learn that the sky is blue. Avoid that by developing a content strategy that keeps potential new clients and customers informed. Let’s talk about it.