The Science Behind Clickbait

Have you ever wondered what enticed you into that article about 99 iPhones for a dollar? I'm here to shed some light on this.
By Flash Cake, Published: Feb 1, 2016 | | |
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  1. So if you’ve been on the internet at all, there a good chance you’ve seen, and probably been tempted by, clickbait. Those adverts and videos designed to get you interested in a shorter time it gets the average man to ejaculate over the thumbnail. Of course while there are those shameless adverts to the sides and bottom of websites, YouTube is one of the biggest places for publicised clickbait.

    Clickbait is designed to evoke an emotion in order to make you interested enough to at least click on the video. Clickbait particularity plays with two main aspects of your psychology. Your curiosity, and your libido. While things like boobs in a thumbnail are a hugely well-known and regarded as shameless, the curiosity clickbait it what most successful YouTubers do now.

    As an example, take how Game Theory does it. You’ll see the subject matter to the show and then use a capitalised trigger word to get your attention. People like Pewdiepie, Matthew Santoro and Rob Dyke do similar things with their titles. We seem to have reached a place where advertising is done more with the title than the thumbnail.

    Magazines do the same. If you look at things like cosmopolitan, vogue or womens health, you might notice that when they brand their logo, they don’t always use the same colour. There’s a large selection of magazines on offer but they want to stand out in a crowd so using bright and contrasting colours to grab your attention seems to be the best way to sucker people in to hearing their stories. (And statement that I will not talk about further for fear of being stuck writing forever)


    Of course, abstaining from putting boobs in the thumbnail is just in the world of professionals. Mindless sex appeal is still incredibly effective. As a social experiment I created a Let’s Play channel called Yodarap and uploaded very low quality content. I also used custom thumbnails one of which features a screen shot from a mod of Skyrim. The mod in question is a sexy armour mod for females (you can see where I’m going)

    That channel contains 28 videos of varying games and thumbnails and wouldn’t you know it, on a video I hadn’t even shared publicly, it received 300 views in 2 weeks. Compare to the channels other biggest upload which has 25 views for a dating sim video (analytics told me the average view duration for said dating sim video was 3 seconds, lol). But do you know what the craziest thing is, the Skyrim video is still getting views to this day. It is now at 698 and climbing. On a channel with no subscribers!

    (You can see for yourself here. Sorry for the ugly URL.)

    The same works on this website. You go to trending media and you will find a video of uncensored HuniePop sex scenes. (Which is approaching 30,000 views on a website where you’re lucky to even reach double digits).

    The reason people do this, is money. Clickbait are websites and websites sell advertising space (occasionally selling to other clickbait sites) and advertising space is pretty much open to the highest bidder in a lot of cases.

    So why shouldn’t anyone do this? Well I will let you do your own thing because frankly, I can't fault a person for liking money. While YouTube is populated with horny teenagers there are still a majority of people who will call you out for what you’ve done (it’s the internet, comments can be harsh). The Skyrim video of mine has over double the dislikes over likes and let’s face it, 700 views and not one subscriber from it. Subscribers only come for quality. I could go on about “make quality content” and “work hard on videos” but if I’m honest. I just wanted to talk about boobs.

    Yes I’m immature, do you think I had a good reason for Googling sexy Skyrim mods?!


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    About Author

    Flash Cake
    I'm a comedy YouTuber, taking apart the plot holes, inconsistencies and general weirdness among Video Games, Movies, TV Shows and Anime.


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  1. iGotdatgame
    anything with booty or boobies.... always gets em
  2. Snowix The Snowman
    clicbait is a god
  3. TheNoobNerds
  4. Sillen
    Is there a real Science behind clickbait MABY YES MABY NO
  5. LinuxMadeEasy
    haha good post!
  6. Alucress
    Reasons like these make me skeptical to click on a video when I don't know the creator.
  7. thiv
    hahah!! nice! that was pretty good!
  8. Blake Howell
    Rick rolled! haha
  9. Soch
    Cough, Cough, LeafyisHere, Cough, Cough.
  10. AboutPerception
    Yep...boobs are great ;D