You hear the word “click-bait” used a lot, but what does it actually mean and what is it doing to the internet news environment?
Click-bait is content on the internet that tries to attract attention and draw visitors to a specific web page or “news” article. It’s all about the headlines when it comes to click-bait — they’re the first things consumers see when scrolling through a webpage or newsfeed. To raise the number of clicks a web page or article receives, some websites use click-bait language, which many consumers find annoying and think detract from the online news environment.
Most click-bait headlines use the first-person “I,” “you” and “we” to single the consumer out.
You’ll Never Guess Why This Happened!
What We Found Was Shocking
What Happens Next Will Surprise You!
Exclamation points and question marks are also popular among click-bait headlines.
Just Wait Until You See This!
You Won’t Believe Your Eyes!
Did You Know This?
Using numbers is also another tactic in click-bait. Take for example the headline of this blog.
“What type of click-bait are you? #11 will shock you!”
Doesn’t it just make you want to know what #11 says? Doesn’t it make you want to click on it and read more? That’s exactly what these headline creators want you to do.
Five Things You Should Do Before You Die
23 Things That Will Blow Your Mind!
You Need To Try These 10 Recipes
While these types of headlines might be annoying when they pop up on your computer screen unwanted, this isn’t the only problem with click-bait. Online news outlets are also using these click-bait headline techniques to attract more viewers to their websites, but they’re detracting from the viability of these news outlets
As fewer and fewer people read the news, these outlets are forced to implement tricks and techniques to get their pages more clicks and their stories more views. This has caused concerns over a “dumbing down” of the news. Some believe there is more of an emphasis on the trivial, rather than hard news articles that require more reading than just the headline.
While click-bait continues to thrive and live on in the world of internet news, the Ducks think that a happy medium needs to be found. While we’d love to read about the “12 Foods I Should Most Definitely Grill ASAP,” we’d also love to read about what’s going on out there in the world.