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You won’t believe how these 9 shocking clickbaits work! (number 8 is a killer!)

Clickbaits are quite common in social media. The basic concept of ‘clickbait’ is to create a melodramatic title for an online article so as to manipulate people into clicking the link and reading the content. Honestly, clickbait is a smart idea for publicity but, the way it has taken over social media over bland content is quite annoying.

Below I have listed 9 categories of clickbaits commonly found in our social media with examples. Watch out for number 8! It’s quite interesting!

1. Shocking/ amazing/ unbelievable results

This type of clickbait headlines work in two parts. The first part explains the plot which is usually very catchy. The second part says that there is more to the plot and that the outcome is quite astonishing. The bait lies in the second part because it challenges our imagination power by using the phrases like: ‘…You won’t believe…’, ‘…shocking result’, ‘…too good to be true’ etc.

Example 1.1:

If the story was any true, either the lion would have killed the man or he would have done nothing. Well, those are the only two possibilities! But, the clickbait doesn’t work like that! It makes you crave for the story.

Part 1: ‘Man tries to hug a wild lion’ (omg! why did he do that?)

Part 2: ‘You won’t believe what happened next’ (Oh god! I have to know what happened next!)

Example 1.2: “Mycha started drinking two glasses of bitter-guard juice everyday for seven days and the results are amazing.”

Example 1.3: “A school girl gave her lunch to a homeless man. What he did next will leave you in tears!”

2. Celebrity gossips

Example 2.1:

They mention ‘hot’ and even if we haven’t seen that particular movie, we want to look at how the actor has grown because the title says that he is hot!

Example 2.2:

“21 stars who ruined their face due to plastic surgery. Talk about regrets!”

3. Mysterious stories

They are the most common ones. They make the readers get interested in someone else’s life but, in a very convincing manner.

Example 3:

This is a story of a married couple. From the title it can be understood that their life was perfect until the day this picture was taken. So what could possibly be in this picture that made them end their marriage? Intriguing, isn’t it? As if that was not enough, the thumbnail containing the picture is zoomed-in to the point that we cannot make out the entire scenario without clicking on the link!

4. Instances of people’s stupidity on social media

We all like making fun of other people. It makes us feel superior and intelligent. Posts like this always get a lot of views and truth be told, they are actually fun to read!

Example 4:

5. A challenge to your IQ

Honestly, I have been fooled by this type of clickbait not once, not twice but many times. But, who is to blame?…some of these questions are interesting to solve, whereas, most of them are simple 3rd grade mathematics.

Example 5.1:

Example 5.2:

“Only the people with an IQ above 160 can solve these questions. Are you one of them? Click to find out…”

I am 100% sure that I don’t have an IQ over 160 but, I have solved dozens of questions that say so!

6. ‘Tricky’ stuffs

They use the term ‘simple tricks’ to attract more viewers.

Example 6.1:

…and after you open the link, this is what you see:

a. Get at least 8 hours of sleep

b. Exercise regularly

c. Maintain a positive attitude

I mean…Come on!!!

Example 6.2:

Boys who actually fall for this bait…Rest in peace!

7. The fear inducing stuff

They are as manipulative as the number 2, but they use the ‘fear’ element and this type of clickbait is targeted towards a specific group of people.

Example 7.1:

…the five things that they mention are:

  1. He does not have time for you
  2. He gets irritated on simple things
  3. He avoids your calls
  4. He goes to ‘business trips’ more often
  5. He changes his phone number one too many times

And each of these five things are placed on separate pages so, you have to navigate through 5 pages to get this rare valuable information! How cool!

Example 7.2:

All six reasons say that you consume too much calories, or drink too much and do not exercise! Also, the phrase ‘According to experts’ plays a vital role in the credibility of articles like this.

8. The list with a jewel stuff!

The content is generally composed of a long list among which one (the second last or the third last one but, not the last one) is claimed to be the ‘most interesting one’ or a ‘jewel’ in the title.

You thought this number was something special eh? Sorry! That was just a bait :)

Example 8.1:

So, we navigate through 13 pages to see what the most hilarious tweet is…and after we get to the 13th number, we don’t hesitate to go through all those 15 tweets.

Example 8.2:

9. Sports gossips

There are a lots of news articles in football pages which have a controversial title but simple content, like:

Example 9.1:

The Premier League giant in this post was West Ham United and the La Liga superstar was Sofiane Feghouli, previously form Valencia.

Example 9.2:

…and his actual words were “It hurts to see Lionel Messi cry”. Shocking? I don’t think so.

So, these were the 9 ‘shocking’ types of clickbaits from my side. Add more if you think I have missed some :)




I.O.E Pulchowk Undergrad Magazine. For People and Technology.

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Grad Student | Computer Engineer | Amateur writer

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