The clicbait (or clickbait) is a very widespread practice on Facebook which consists in French Guiana Email List the Net surfer to click on a link (often dubious) thanks to a sensational title . This method, used regularly by the celebrity press, has been diverted to make a profit on advertising revenue, thanks to clicks obtained by the promise of a video or an amazing info. While often it is not.

Surprising as it may sound, Facebook still allowed this kind of practice and let it appear in news feeds with impunity, until a reporter decided to take a strange test. The latter decided, for 48 hours, to like all the statuses he saw passing in his news feed . Both those of his friends as well as those of the brands they followed or sponsored publications. The result was astonishing.

The journalist who liked everything

Facebook is based on a precise algorithm to bring up information, or not, in your timeline. So the more you interact with a friend or with a brand, the more you will see their information on the front line. Conversely, the friends or pages that you abandon will be less highlighted in you.

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Wired reporter Mat Honan wanted to see how Facebook would interpret liking everything. Apart from a publication relating the death of a loved one, he therefore liked everything for 48 hours. Which obviously made Facebook lose all interest and plunged it into an abyss of irrelevant posts . When you like an article on the social network, it immediately brings up a list of similar articles. Mat Honan saw his thread invaded by his related proposals, gradually taking the place of the publications of his friends. In the end, he no longer saw the “human” status at all.

Content farm posts and those from sites like Buzzfeed, which are only meant to generate ad revenue, have taken the place of everything else. Worse yet, even his friends’ news feeds found themselves swarming with posts that Mat Honan had liked, confusing their own interactions on Facebook.

Facebook goes to war

The social network was of course warned of the test carried out by the journalist and the fallout. Oddly, shortly after this small experiment, Facebook announced that it will now fight against provocative pages , the sole objective of which is to generate advertising revenue with solicitous content. Obviously, the American giant did not admit that the experience of Mat Honan was at the heart of this decision, but it is legitimate to think that there is a cause and effect link.

So what will change in the future on Facebook? The social network will refine its algorithm to allow it to better identify touting publications , which often follow the same format: keywords that encourage clicks, question marks, numerous exclamation points, etc.

It will also take into consideration the time spent on the link. The longer a user stays on the article, the better it will be rated. Conversely, if the user immediately leaves the site, Facebook will deduce that the content is of poor quality. Another criterion taken into account: the number of interactions compared to the number of clicks. Thus, if many Internet users click on the link, but then do not comment, do not share or do not like it, Facebook will consider that it is an article without quality and thus lower its reach.

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