Nowadays, a headline is often the primary way of getting a potential reader interested in an article. This has led to something known as clickbait, write Jeffrey Kuiken, of University of Amsterdam, Anne Schuth, of Blendle, Martijn Spitters, of Blendle, and Maarten Marx, of University of Amsterdam. The article investigates the click-through rate (CTR) of headlines in an online environment.
The data consists of 1828 pairs of original and rewritten headlines from Blendle, an online news kiosk.
The findings revealed that the rewritten headlines are longer, and they included more signal words, pronouns, sentimental words, quotes, and questions. Although the rewritten headlines include more clickbait elements than their original headlines, not all of these characteristics are effective.
The article “Effective Headlines of Newspaper Articles in a Digital Environment” was published online by Digital Journalism. The article is available here.
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