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Facebook Continues Its Fight Against Clickbait

The social network will identify clickbait by comparing clicks to likes and comments.

Facebook Continues Its Fight Against Clickbait
[Photo: Flickr user Icelight]

In Facebook's ongoing campaign against promoting deceptive clickbait, the social network said Monday it will take more steps to reduce the visibility of such stories in its news feed.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company will determine clickbait by looking at time spent away from Facebook after clicking a link (the idea being that if users quickly return to Facebook, they must not have found the content to be valuable) and the ratio of clicks to likes and comments (less engagement suggests less value).

Facebook also said it will prioritize links posted using Facebook's custom link-share format, which is easier for users to click on from mobile devices, over those buried in image captions or status updates.

The largest driver of social referrals on the web, Facebook has been actively tweaking its news feed algorithm to highlight stories it believes its users want to see. Recent changes include deprioritizing updates automatically posted by third parties and demoting updates that ask users to like, comment, or share. Earlier this year, the company also debuted a standalone news reader, Paper, to separate the clutter taking over Facebook from meaningful stories.