Click-Baiting Is Bad on Facebook and in the Inbox

Facebook made an interesting announcement yesterday and should resonate with email marketers. They said they would be deemphasizing posts that “click-bait,” which is “when a publisher posts a link with a headline that encourages people to click to see more, without telling them much information about what they will see.”

Even though those types of posts received lots of clicks, it turns out that Facebook users overwhelmingly prefer headlines that are descriptive and give them information they could use to decide whether it was worth their time to click through. To quantify this disconnect between click volume and content quality, Facebook is now measuring post-click activity and penalizing posts that visitors quickly abandon, which they see as an indication that the content didn’t meet their expectations.

Why this should be interesting to email marketers is that click-bait-type subject lines provide a similarly poor user experience.

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