Three things you probably didn’t know about linkbait that will blow your mind…


Or, what the Facebook sharing of Buzzfeed articles can teach us about content.

We’ve really enjoyed the findings of Max Woolf who has delved into the dark heart of Clickbait and Linkbait and surfaced with some very interesting data about how BuzzFeed articles get shared on Facebook. Here’s 3 of our favourite factoids…

  1. Lists!
    One look at your Facebook feed will demonstrate just how popular lists are. But which list type will get the most shares? Well the answer is picture lists, not a surprise when you consider how many ’24 photos you need to see’, ‘40 of the most powerful photographs ever’, and ’28 pictures that will make you laugh every time’ type articles always finding a way into your digital life.
  2. Words of power.
    Looking at keywords in the titles reveals some interesting data too. ‘Career’ is the most popular keyword in the titles, getting the largest amount of shares on Facebook. Considering the top ten also includes ‘toys’, ‘childhood’, ‘forgot’, and ‘80s’ our guess is users are looking back and getting a nostalgia kick while also thinking about the future. Perhaps different browser tabs reveal ’23 toys from your 80s childhood you forgot!’ next to ‘9 careers which you could do next!’.
  3. Triple threat.
    Following on from keywords it’s also important to look at 3-word phrases, the inspiration for our slightly tongue in cheek title today. Questionnaires perform 3-4 times better than lists on BuzzFeed and this explains the most popular 3-worder being ‘character are you’. Following from that comes a top ten including the super recognisable ‘before you die’, ‘you probably didn’t’, ‘in your life’, ‘reasons you should’ and ‘[x] things that’.


So what can you do with these information? Well apart from it being great for dinner party anecdotes (or is that just us?) you can use this to better understand what is getting shared and how it’s constructed. Maybe it’s time to start using lots of images in your blog posts, writing them as lists rather than straight articles, and it wouldn’t hurt to tweak that title a little.

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