Adventures in Apple clickbait (2)

Headline tip No. 2: Massive.

There are a lot of ways to say "big." But when you're writing about Apple, only one adjective will do.

  • Apple Faces Massive Challenges As It Tries to Crack India's Market —Fortune
  • Massive Failure Hits Apple App Store —Fortune
  • Warren Buffett Just Made a Massive Bet On Apple —TIME
  • After massive drop, is Apple cheap enough? —Reuters
  • Apple chart points to massive rally —CNBC
  • A first look at Liam: Apple's massive robot that takes apart old iPhones —Mashable
  • Apple's New Massive Success That No One Is Noticing —Capital Market Laboratories
  • China reacts to Apple's massive Didi investment —Tech in Asia
  • Massive R&D spending hints big changes are coming at Apple—Yahoo
  • Cash holdings of Apple are a massive risk in this debt jubilee era.  —Dollar Vigilante
  • Apple orders massive shipment, takes punt on new design —Sydney Morning Telegraph
  • Cramer: Apple could do this with its massive cash hoard —CNBC

That last one is a nearly perfect piece of clickbait, putting three power words—"Apple," "Cramer" and "massive"—in the viral "this" formula.

"The power of 'this' is in its specificity," writes Kevan Lee in his classic How to Write the Perfect Headline. "When you use 'this' in a headline, the reader’s mind switches to a concrete view of whatever you’re talking about, as if the object in question were imminent and attainable."

Three examples from Lee's study of 3,016 viral headlines:

  • This Guy Sticks Household Objects in His Beard and It’s Weirdly Mesmerizing
  • This Woman’s Massive Instagram Following Helped Her Launch a Business
  • Is This the Airport of the Future?


  1. David Emery said:
    Seriously, who gives a rodent’s posterior about Jim Cramer?

    May 28, 2016
  2. David Drinkwater said:
    The “this” is the one that kills me. You go into the article hoping (but knowing better) that there will be an intelligent and intelligible “this”. There usually isn’t. The art and skill of good writing seems largely lost on the internet.

    May 28, 2016

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