We millennials have a love-hate relationship with clickbait, as with other things. A sign of this affinity is that my generation of free thinkers rarely click links without a title as engaging as a major natural disaster.
This comparison actually may point to the reason why young people need clickbait to get them to read or watch anything. What I am about to say is a cliche blame, but here I go being cliche again. It is the fault of the media, there I said it.
My generation grew up in a time when the media began experimenting by frequently reporting devastating stories; stories that would capture any normally interested person. However, they did this pretty much every day, sometimes even on holidays. The media became a medium for mostly just bad, horrible, but naturally engaging stories. And this is why they did it. It got people to watch and not look away. Win win for the media.
However, growing up with this, us youngsters built up a tolerance to these stories. Any story that should normally merit our attention was now more boring to us than a long Chemistry lecture after midday lunch.
This is probably why nowadays there is so much FAKE NEWS. The media had to step up their game, because their old tactic was becoming too common place for my generation.
I guess now they need to literally MAKE STUFF UP for people to watch it. I call it News Inflation. Where is it going to end, what could possibly be after fake news in this line of inflation? If you have any ideas please contact me, or write below, I would love to hear your opinion.
In conclusion, this tolerance has led millennials to depend on good clickbait for reading most things that should naturally engage us. Clickbait that leads to a poorly written article with no clever ideas or story will always be terrible, and everyone will hate it. But clickbait that introduces us to something of value is what millennials want, depend on, and now expect for content they see as worthy to engage in.
This is very important for marketers to realize. Clickbait is no longer optional, or something to experiment with. It is very necessary to any successful distribution of a product. That being said it must be done right, with a truly engaging story, or you will never be forgiven by your audience.
— Brian Alois