Shorter is better: Be careful how you read eye track findings

The new eye track study says that online readers will read a longer news story more in depth.

Be careful not to read too much into that. It merely says that once a reader decides to read a longer story online, he will spend more time with it than a print reader.

It doesn’t say longer stories will get more readers, or that longer stories will help you grow online audience.

The web is intention driven. It’s a pull medium. So, when a user make a decision to spend some time with a story, of course he is going to read it more in depth.

In several years of watch news site web stats, I’ve observed that shorter is better. Long, in-depth stories rarely drive the number of page views that easy to digest pieces do. Frequent updates and of short items will grow audience. Long stories, not so much.

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One thought on “Shorter is better: Be careful how you read eye track findings

  1. From what I read and watched, that’s not what it says at all. The study says that a user will read more of a given story online than in print. It says nothing about the length of those stories, whether short or long, or investigative super novel.

    This study reveals nothing about whether people read long stories online or in print. All it says is that, on average, they read more online. Might be different results for different lengths of stories. It’s just an average.

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