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Click baiting is a form of social media marketing where the advertisers use catchy descriptions or sensationalism in order to lure the users to click on them, thereby generating revenues (as per the ‘pay per click’ model). Sometimes, they also use catchy photos or video snippets for the purpose.

“you will never drink coca cola you see this video” or “what this girl did will blow your mind away”… etc.

Another form of click baiting can be attractive subject lines to spam mails in the mail boxes, something like “winning a lottery” or “this is an offer just for you” etc.

Click baits are quite common in social media. The basic concept of ‘clickbait’ is to create a melodramatic title for an online article so as to manipulate people into clicking the link and reading the content. Honestly, clickbait is a smart idea for publicity but, the way it has taken over social media over bland content is quite annoying.

Clickbait uses phrases like:

  • You won’t believe this…
  • This [xxxxx] will change your life
  • With this one weird trick…
  • This [xxxxx] will restore your faith in humanity
  • …you won’t believe what happens next.
  • 17 secrets [xxxxx] don’t want you to know
  • [xxxxx] Companies/Professionals hate this trick
  • How one woman made $$$ in her bedroom
  • The 15 fakest/worst/most terrifying…
  • Lose 15 kg in 3 months with this natural product
  • The hot new [xxxxx] everyone is talking about
  • Five features [xxxxx] power users don’t know about
  • 20 Signs You’re actually a [xxxxx]

All content publishers are occasionally guilty of using clickbait in the battle to engage users and gain advertising income.
Below are 9 categories of click baits commonly found in our social media with examples. Watch out for number 8! It’s quite interesting!

1. Shocking/ amazing/ unbelievable results
Amazing! Elk Defends Herd From Photographer

This type of clickbait headline works in two parts. The first part explains the plot which is usually very catchy. The second part says that there is more to the plot and that the outcome is quite astonishing. The bait lies in the second part because it challenges our imagination power by using the phrases like: ‘…You won’t believe…’, ‘…shocking result’, ‘…too good to be true’ etc.

2. Celebrity gossip
Remember Heidi Kum’s Daughter? Take A Deep Breath Before You See How…

Enough said!

3. Mysterious stories
Behind “The Handmaid’s Tale” Season 2’s Secretly Most Important Character

They are the most common ones. They make readers get interested in someone else’s life but, in a very convincing manner.

4. Instances of people’s stupidity on social media
People Doing Things That Will Ruin Your Faith in Humanity

We all like fun of other people. It makes us feel superior and intelligent. Posts like this always get a lot of view and truth be told, they are fun to read!

5. A challenge to your IQ
Can You Score More Than 13 In This “Harry Potter” Higher Or Lower Quiz?

Honestly, I have been fooled by this type of clickbait not once, not twice but many times.  But, who is to blame?… some of these questions are interesting to solve, whereas, mot of them are simple 3rd grade mathematics.  “Only the people with an IQ above 160 can solve these questions. Are you one of them? Click to find out…” I’m a 100% sure that I don’t have an IQ over 160 but, I have solved dozens of questions that say so!

6. Tricky stuff
How to Lose Weight Fast: 3 Simple Steps, Based on Science

They use the term ‘simple tricks’ to attract more viewers. …and after you open the link, this is what you see:

  1. Get at least 8 hours of sleep
  2. Exercise regularly
  3. Maintain a positive attitude

I mean…Come on!!!

7. The fear inducing stuff
A Must Watch for Anyone Who Stays in Hotels

They are as manipulative as the number 2, but they use the ‘fear’ element and this type of clickbait is targeted towards a specific group of people.

…the five things that they mention are:

  • He/she does not have time for you
  • He/she gets irritated on simple things
  • He/she avoids your calls
  • He/she goes to ‘business trips’ more often
  • He/she changes his phone number one too many times

And each of these five things are placed on separate pages so, you have to navigate through 5 pages to get this rare valuable information! How cool!

8. The list with a jewel stuff!
15+ Hilarious Tweets About Married Life That Perfectly Sum Up Marriage

The content is generally composed of a long list among which one (the second last or the third last one but, not the last one) is claimed to be the ‘most interesting one’ or a ‘jewel’ in the title.

You thought this number was something special eh? Sorry! That was just a bait 🙂

9. Sports gossip
The 25 Most Unbelievable Sports FACTS!

There are a lots of news articles in football pages which have a controversial title but simple content.

Life Sentences: The Grammar of Clickbait!

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