For those tired of skewering the annoyingly successful formulas of listicles and feel-good cliffhanger headlines -- perfected by Buzzfeed and Upworthy, respectively -- it's okay. The Onion plans to take over the heavy lifting with a new site designed to intentionally satirize viral "clickbait."
On Tuesday, The Onion announced the upcoming launch of "Clickhole", a website "putting content and sponsored posts side by side, with barely any distinction between them," the New York Business Journal reports. The site is scheduled to launch in June.
"People will climb into this click hole and find content so interesting they won't be able to keep it to themselves," said "Jim Haggerty," the Onion News Network host played by journalist-actor Brad Holbrook, according to the Journal. "Every post is engineered to be as shareable as possible, so it spreads like a deadly wildfire on social media."
With readers unable to resist stories that will melt your heart (much of it stuff that they'll never believe, but definitely stories only people interested in life-changing news will understand), Gawker notes Clickhole posts will include:
- Quizzes like "Which pizza should I have for dinner tonight? (presented by Pizza Hut)"
- Uplifting personal tales in list forms: "Seven pricks that defied the odds and didn't go into finance."
- The aww factor: A video titled "What this adorable little girl says will melt your heart." (It's actually a cogent explanation of how brands monetize adorable little kids, as spoken by an adorable little kid.)
- And finally, photo slide shows with no words: "Six kinds of hay."
(And yes, we fully expect Clickhole to come after us too, particularly for headlines like this).
Though Clickhole won't go live until June, the preview site has a feature to help readers prime their trigger finger. Ready. Set. Click!