Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Sticky Clickbait

Posted by emilyfalicaa on January 28, 2017

Spreadable Media’s chapter Why Media Spreads provided a pretty awesome definition of “stickiness”. The particular definition “stickiness capitalizes on the easiest way companies have found to conduct business online- rather than the ways audiences want to and do experience material online. It privileges putting content in one place and making audiences come to it so they can be counted” brought many media spreading theories to mind. But after reading @briannaembry’s blog post about this topic and Buzzfeed, I instantly thought of the concept of clickbait articles. News and media sources that utilize clickbait articles create regular stories, but add character to the title or cover picture so it “sticks” to a consumer. This way they can place articles in places and allow the audience to come to it. Often these headlines and pictures aren’t exactly what is in the article, but the catchiness sticks to people long enough that it sparks curiosity and gains that view to be counted. As a person who works with 100-200 news articles a week, I often find myself straying from my task because “We will dig a tunnel! Says Mexican President” sounds a lot more interesting than “Fed to stop mortgage reinvestments in 2018: Morgan Stanley”. I mean come on, just look at these headlines and pictures (link here and here. Excuse the random blog, the originals have been deleted. ). I actually enjoy reading about the feds and I find this article unappetizing from the first glance. But that’s because it isn’t sticky enough. If it was changed to something like, “Morgan Stanley predicts feds will burn investors to the ground!” I would hit that article up faster than Panda Express during customer appreciation week. The entire set up of the Trump/Mexico articles stick the moment you see them because of the marketing techniques used to promote them. BBC utilizes the new technique Spreadable Media suggests of making the consumer come to you. Meanwhile, Reuters avoids this concept completely by just creating content the way someone looking for it specifically would want to have it. It’s not to say that either way is wrong, I really needed that mortgage article. But in a world of fast technology, limited time, and fast fingers scrolling through a feed, having clickbait is necessary to growth and expansion. Especially for people who don’t seek specific news. The more someone sees and enjoys these catchy looking articles the more it enables them to seek it out. Spreadable Media explains it is a, “…mechanism motivating people to seek out and spend time on a particular site.” News sources will not care if you agree or disagree with their post. They won’t care if it leaves a lasting impression. They care about how many views they can count at the end of the day.


2 Responses to “Sticky Clickbait”

  1. emilymorgan98 said

    Liked how you applied the term stickiness to articles going on now. I definitely agree that now a days, more and more articles and new pages are having to find more eye catching titles to impress and stop someone.

  2. katemilner9 said

    I like how you mention clickbait, because I really do think that’s one of the most interesting types of media today.I think it’s interesting that you portray it in a positive manner (or, at least to have some practical applications). I’ve never thought of clickbait as being useful for anything other than bringing attention to pointless articles so a site can get views, but you really made me wonder why that’s what I think of.

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