Facebook continues to battle click-bait

BY Corinne Segal  August 25, 2014 at 4:37 PM EST
Photo by Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty Images.

Facebook will stop rewarding click-bait headlines in the News Feed. Photo by Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty Images.

Facebook announced in a blog post Monday that it would change its algorithm to reduce the amount of click-bait in the News Feed, and improve the experience of users.

Facebook defined “click-bait” as a link with a headline that prompts people to click without delivering information on what follows the link.

According to the blog, click-bait links have previously been prominent in News Feed because they receive a lot of clicks from users. But 80 percent of respondents to a user survey said they preferred to see posts that help them decide whether they want to see a full article.

Users navigate away from “click-bait” articles shortly after clicking, showing that they do not care about the content, the post said. Facebook will measure how much time people spend on articles they click and feature articles that receive more time from users. It will also feature more articles that people are sharing and discussing with their friends.

Facebook drives more social traffic than any other network, and this is not the first time it has announced an algorithm change in an effort to weed out low-quality content.

In December 2013, Facebook announced it would begin to feature “high quality articles about current events” over viral memes. Traffic to viral site Upworthy dropped by 46 percent within two months after the change.