Clickbait is a new term in the online journalism. It became popular since 2014 when the journalism in the social media arrived.
Writing a headline for a newspaper is an essential skill for journalists, in the age of online journalism, it attaches greater value. The headline is most important for online news. With the headline the author attracts the user to the article. That becomes more and more important, with each click on their articles the author earns money from the advertisements. Mostly headlines are not appropriate. The user recognizes, sooner or later, that the striking headlines do not fit to the text.
On the social media, posts with the most views and interactions with the link become most popular and they’re more often displayed to the user’s timeline. That means, that more users see the article with the striking headline. For example, classical clickbait headlines are “You will not believe what you’re going to read” or “Life insurance companies hate this trick”. These Headlines are so-called “look at me”- Headlines. They’re typical for Clickbait News.
A by-product of this style of journalism – the frustration of readers clicking on a story which promised more than it delivered.
As of now Facebook has changed its algorithm, so they also measure the time which the users spend on the Link/Article. With this simple trick, they increase the amount of Clickbait articles on the social media.
“Social media now works as a separate entity for news outlets – rather than a simple headline, picture and link to a story, organisations have to repackage and change how they offer news depending on the platform.”