03 February 2017

Nieman Journalism Lab: “Another survey finds users aren’t that engaged with online video”

News organizations have been producing loads of video content to fill social media feeds and attract higher ad rates, but a new report from the social analytics firm Parse.ly finds that users engage with video much less than other content types.

Parse.ly examined the performance of four types of posts within its network of 700 sites: long-form, short-form, video, and slideshows. Video posts received 30 percent less engaged time than the average post, the study found. (Parse.ly defines engaged time as being actively engaged with content — when [users] not only have a page open, but they have also recently interacted with it [via scrolling or clicking, for example]. Visitors are also considered actively engaged if they are watching a video.)

Joseph Lichterman

I’ve always found it inconvenient to consume information through video compared to text. I tend to read faster than average and with text you can always scan ahead for the important sections and skip less crucial information or stuff you already know. That’s next to impossible with video: you can fast-forward, but there’s no way to tell where you’ll land, so you’ll likely end up wasting more time tracking down the relevant sections. Video does have it’s uses, but it leans more towards entertainment, with anything from short funny clips to computer game let’s plays, and training and sharing knowledge, where the combination of sound, image and human voice can create a better environment for transmitting information than a written course.

Parsely study online video engagement
Average engaged time performance for different post formats

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