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Clickbait

Clickbait is a word that is a new addition to the Oxford English Dictionary. We will look at the the meaning of the term clickbait, the origin of the term and some examples of its use in a few sentences.

Clickbait describes online content that is designed to encourage the user to click through to a certain web page. Clickbait usually involves sensational headlines or images. Note that the word clickbait is rendered as one word with no space. It was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in the fall of 2016. The term clickbait was invented by Jay Geiger in a blogpost written in December of 2006. Clickbait is a combination of the words click, referring to the click of the computer mouse, and bait, referring to something that lures the user. Originally, the compound word was rendered as two separate words as in click bait and still occasionally seen in this form. The term link bait was coined at virtually the same time, however, the term link bait has for the most part fallen by the wayside.

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Examples

I wanted to explore this world of “clickbait” Pokémon GO YouTube videos a bit, the ones with hundreds of thousands to millions of views, with photoshopped Mewtwos and Gen 2 Pokémon in the thumbnails. (Forbes Magazine)

Facebook says users should not rely on the social media site for all their news, and it is banishing clickbait headlines from its News Feed, because it turns people away. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

In 2014, Facebook began its offensive against clickbait by looking at the time it took for users to return to their news feeds after navigating away. (The Hollywood Reporter)

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