Clickbait is a way of advertising content on the Internet in a quirky way. The word was framed by Jay Geiger in 2006, combining the words click and bait. Click here meant clicking on links or thumbnails and bait here meant trapping the users with quirky words. Yet, it is important to figure out whether clickbaits are just another form of fake news or not.
So, the information generally on the links or thumbnails are different from what it appears on the content or the blog. As far as fake news is concerned, clickbaits might or might not be fake. There are levels of quality in clickbaits, we consider them as the good ones, the ugly ones and the bad ones.
The best examples of good clickbaits can been seen on viral content companies like BuzzFeed, WittyFeed, etc. These type of clickbaits compel you to click on the link and see the content, it engages you for hours. The content does not have false facts, just some quirky words and an interesting content that upholds the value of content making.
These type of clickbaits are not fake yet it frustrates the users since the content is not as it is promised in the link or a thumbnail. These links make the user curious but people do not stay here for long, chances are they never return to the blog or the YouTube Channel thereby having a large bounce rate on the website.
A large number of clickbaits fall into this category. Mostly all of them have some or the other facts distorted. It is one of the ways of spamming users. There are many clickbaits that not only sell false information but also trap users into online frauds.
Let’s look at one of the online frauds on Instagram
Our own experience
For an experiment, we had made a clickbait too using a distractive thumbnail (now edited). Our traction was very low on Facebook and Linkedin and we got maximum traction from Instagram. On an average basis, we used to get around 5-10 readers on Facebook and Linkedin but the clickbait increased our traction by 80%. This was how the Thumbnail looked like –
Clickbaits has its own advantages and disadvantages. It surely leads to an increase in the number of views, certainly a boon for content creators but at what cost and which content as it might lead to restlessness. A study shows that most people share articles based on headings only hence, it might also cause rifts between people, communities, etc. It is a huge responsibility for content creators to make content that it 100% legit.