What is clickbait?

An example of clickbait.

Clickbait is a leading title, usually with an image. Online, these titles make people want to “click” through to some content. Unfortunately, the content is usually either very low quality, or even harmful. 

There are a lot of different types of clickbait.
• Scientists baffled by this mysterious sphere. 
• Woman comes home to discover her home full of …
• Four out of five Marvel fans can’t answer this quiz. 
• 7 facts about dogs you never knew. 
• Men over thirty need to know this. 

Each of these titles is misleading. The actual stories are often boring or untrue, and they often lead to harmful advertisements or even viruses.

Homescreen email notifications

Why It Matters
Of course, you should avoid clickbait when you read it. It’s also important not to make titles that look like clickbait when you write. 

For example, many email subject lines look like clickbait. Long email subjects might look misleading if they get cut off in phone notifications.

• Tomorrow’s meeting is going to be …
• Great News! Find attached your …
• URGENT – Deadline to apply for …

When readers see these notifications, they often don’t open the mail, or they are disappointed by the message.

baffling – very confusing
Ex: I am completely baffled by this grammar. 
Ex: This grammar is completely baffling. 

misleading – giving the wrong idea or feeling 
Ex: The drink in the ad looked really big, but this is so small. I hate misleading ads like that.

cut off – cut short or disconnected
Ex: I couldn’t read the subject line because it was cut off. 
Ex: We got cut off because my Wi-Fi disconnected. 

Like these examples? Did I forget anything? Have an idea I should write about next? Leave a comment or get in touch. 

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