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Headline Tricks Make People Share News Stories on Facebook

By New Scientist

July 12, 2022

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A team of researchers from Germany's University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) and Paderborn University found usual punctuation in headlines can make people more likely to share news stories on Facebook, although asking questions is less likely to encourage engagement.

The researchers analyzed engagement levels on 4,400-plus news stories published and shared on seven consecutive days in November and December 2017 by 10 U.K. and U.S. publications.

They quantified engagement with, and sharing of, stories on Facebook itself, rather than how many people clicked through to the article.

UDE's Anna-Katharina Jung said people who click on articles with attention-grabbing headlines do not ultimately interact with them, while adding unusual punctuation ("!!!" or "…") to headlines could boost interaction by 2.5 times the norm.

From New Scientist
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