So, Facebook dropped the hammer on the clickbait artists.
Read here if you haven’t yet.
In short: this is a GOOD thing.
To quote Facebook directly:
“Click-baiting” is when a publisher posts a link with a headline that encourages people to click to see more, without telling them much information about what they will see.”
Now, the latter part of this statement is important: “without telling them much information about what they will see”!
No matter how much clicks this kind of approach may produce in the short term, it is ultimately counterproductive.
Because this goes directly against the adage I learned from usability guru Jared Spool way back in the late 1990’s:
“Show them as much information as possible, as early as possible, in the navigational structure!”
Or something to that effect. I’ve used this principle a long time, and time after time it’s proven VERY valuable advice. It simply serves people better, and that’s ultimately what matters.
The sooner you give your visitors some “meat” to grind their teeth on, and not just some empty promises (a.k.a. clickbait), the quicker your audience will trust you and follow your lead. Wherever you want to lead them – product, email list, offer funnel… anywhere at all.
Be that on Facebook or on your own web site.
The principles of persuasive usability never really change. That’s because it is based on the fundamentals of the mind, behavior and individual needs. Any new advance – or indeed a restriction – will only serve to point this out in ever new ways. Mark my words.