Mendoza School of Business

‘Clickbait’ for Colleges: Online Media Appeals to Students

Published: May 1, 2017 / Author: Voice of America

Millions of people share material like videos and news stories with their friends and family over the Internet every day.

They use social media websites like Facebook and Twitter to do so.

In 2016, the Pew Research Center reported about 62 percent of adults in the United States get their news from social media.

Now, some U.S. colleges and universities have decided they want some of that internet action. And they are using a kind of web content known as ‘clickbait’ to get it.


Jennifer Cronin is a professor of marketing and social media in the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. She noted that Buzzfeed’s materials could be considered clickbait. But, she said there is also nothing wrong with that. And the website clearly shows what is and is not paid advertising, she said.

Yet she did warn that several companies have faced trouble recently for things they have said or shared themselves online. Companies can lose public favor easily if they are connected to online material considered offensive or untrustworthy.

She said, “Colleges are supposed to be very elite and [centered] on academics. … And so, when you use these other [methods], if you do it poorly then there is the chance that you could harm your reputation.”

Read the entire story on the Voice of America website.