Stop being a victim of clickbaiting

A few days ago, Facebook made an announcement about a change in the way you will see things on your News Feed.
This change was mostly about senzational titles, also called clickbait, or clickbaiting. Some examples would be: “You won’t believe what some celebrity did, click here to find out”, “Do you want to see which Hollywood star was caught naked on camera? Click HERE”, etc.
Of course, when you click, it’s either about something completely different, or it’s not even 10% as sensational as you were expecting. We all saw these types of clickbait on Facebook, so you know what I mean.

I wanted to write this blog post in the same day when the news was released, as many other bloggers did, but I’m happy that I waited a few days and analysed the situation.

Many people started saying that Facebook thinks they are stupid, and that they can’t decide what to click, and what no to click?
Well, I think that’s a completely wrong way of looking at things. Sure, you can decide not to click on a title like: “You won’t believe what Brad Pitt was doing! Click here to find out”, because maybe you don’t care about what Brad Pitt was doing, but what if there is a title like: “Click here to find out where you can vote”, and after you clicked, the information is not relevant to you.

I bet that you are really annoyed when you received an unsolicited e-mail, which tries to sell you some beach sandals, but it’s December. Well, clickbaiting on Facebook is a new, and very ugly form of spam that plagues Facebook, and other social networks.

I would like to take advantage of this opportunity and tell you about the Facebook algorithm, which is responsible for what you see on your News Feed when you log in.
If, let’s say, you have 300 friends, and they post on average 1 post per day, then you would have 300 posts to look at each time you log in. This in itself would be a pain, and you probably wouldn’t look at all 300, so you would miss some posts that you really care about. If we were to add to this the fact that you might have 300 pages that you Liked, which also share on average 1 post/day, you very quickly would want to quit Facebook.
Further more, what would happen if you had a friend that overshares? You probably unfriend him, but that’s another subject.

Taking all this into consideration Facebook developed an algorithm which, taking a lot of factors into consideration, decides what posts you see in your News Feed.
Here is some of the things they take into consideration:

For posts made by friends:

  • what your relationship with that friend is
  • how often you click on his posts
  • how often you like, or leave a comment on his posts
  • how often you speak with him on chat
  • if you have him added to your Close friends
  • if you are in the same Facebook groups
  • if your common friends clicked, liked or left a comment for him

For posts made by pages:

  • how often you click, like or leave a comment
  • if your other friends, or other people clicked on the post

Through this algorithm, Faceebook takes the 300 posts your Friends post + the 300 posted by the pages you follow, and only shows you some of them.
The order in which these appear can be selected from here:
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I think there are two things to learn from this:

1. If you don’t want to see stupid posts, which have sensational titles that actually lead to not so sensational posts, or not what you were expecting at all, then first of all, unlike the page (if the page does this very often). Then, proceed to stop clicking on them, stop leaving comments and, most importantly, stop sharing them!┬áThis means that those posts will reach very little people, or no people at all, and they will be forced to change their strategy.

2. If you are upset that there is a post, made by one of your 1500 friends, that you haven’t seen, then it probably means that you are not great friends with them and Facebook chose to spare you of that post.
If you are actually great friends with that person, and you want to make sure that you won’t lose any more posts, you can add them to your Close friends, or even better, choose to receive notifications every time they post something.

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One thought on “Stop being a victim of clickbaiting

  1. Hey Claudiu,

    I meant to get by here last week but boy am I ever behind with commenting so sorry about that.

    Now honestly, I hate those things and there are a couple of sites that use those types of titles and because their stuff is NOT great like they’ve lead you to believe I have a feeling they’re going to lose a LOT of readers. Some of it is good but trust me, not that good.

    I use a trusty extension in my browser that helps me block all stuff I don’t want to see. I’ve been using it for a few years now and still love it. So if some of my friends are talking about politics and I don’t want to read it I just put the keywords in that I don’t want to see and I never do. I also have all ads blocked too.

    Sure, you can unfriend or unlike a page but if the majority is okay then I really don’t want to do that but from time to time they’ll share stuff I really do not want to see.

    Great share though and it’s all the talk now.

    Enjoy your week.

    ~Adrienne

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