Facebook is Finally Cracking Down on Upworthy-Style Clickbait

By Ashley Feinberg on at

After months of seeing your News Feed littered with headlines promising that you won't believe what happens next, Facebook is finally taking steps to cut down on spammy, obnoxious clickbait.

While headlines like these—which generally pique your curiosity without actually giving you any real information whatsoever—tend to get a lot of likes, Facebook found that users actually feel quite the opposite, explaining in a recent blog post:

However, when we asked people in an initial survey what type of content they preferred to see in their News Feeds, 80% of the time people preferred headlines that helped them decide if they wanted to read the full article before they had to click through.

Over time, stories with "click-bait" headlines can drown out content from friends and Pages that people really care about.

Facebook Is Finally Cracking Down on Upworthy-Style Clickbait

Now, Facebook is going to remedy the problem by looking at how long people actually spend reading the articles they click on as well as whether or not the number of people sharing matches the high number of clicks. If a significant number of users are heading straight back to Facebook after clicking through without ever sharing the link, that particular story will start to get throttled.

In other words, you're about to start seeing a lot less stories in your News Feed that are high on intrigue but low on actual substance. Meaning sites like Upworthy that have been relying on the bait formula for clicks are about to be out of luck. [Facebook]