Facebook Cracks Down On News Feed 'Clickbait'
Facebook is cracking down on "clickbait" articles which feature eye-catching headlines but very little substance.
Because they get a lot of clicks, the posts get shown to more people and are displayed higher up in the news feed.
But Facebook said a survey of its users found they preferred "headlines that helped them decide if they wanted to read the full article before they had to click through".
To weed out clickbait, Facebook said it will tweak its algorithms to focus on how long users spent on an article once clicking through to it from Facebook.
In a blog post it said: "If they click through to a link and then come straight back to Facebook, it suggests that they didn't find something that they wanted.
"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."
The number of comments and likes will also influence how prominently a story is displayed.
"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," Facebook said.
It warned clickbait culprits their audience reach through the social network was likely to decline.
"A small set of publishers who are frequently posting links with clickbait headlines that many people don't spend time reading after they click through may see their distribution decrease in the next few months," it said.
"We're making these changes to ensure that clickbait content does not drown out the things that people really want to see on Facebook."