Facebook weeds out click-bait News Feed headlines

By John Glenday | Reporter

August 26, 2014 | 2 min read

Facebook has moved to weed out spam news articles and click-bait headlines from its News Feed service in a bid to provide more interesting and relevant content to its users.

The clampdown on publishers tempting click-through with salacious headlines and thin accompanying detail has been spurred by a desire to maintain confidence in the service after a number of spam posts spread virally as more and more people were lured into looking.

This serves to ‘drown out’ content from friends and genuine articles which people may wish to read.

Outlining how they intend to differentiate click-bait from genuine content research scientist Khalid El-Arini and product specialist Joyce Tang said in a blog post: “With this update we will start taking into account whether people tend to spend time away from Facebook after clicking a link, or whether they tend to come straight back to News Feed when we rank stories with links in them.

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“If a lot of people click on the link, but relatively few people click Like, or comment on the story when they return to Facebook, this also suggests that people didn’t click through to something that was valuable to them.”

In addition the popular social media site will also introduce a new facility to allow the sharing of links in posts by prioritising link-format click through, which contain additional information associated with the link, rather than links connected to a photo caption.

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