However, there is one long-standing prejudice against the online news consumer. He has a reputation for having a very short attention span, which in turn means that the shorter the news piece, the better. ‘Make it Twitter-length’, seems to have been the new motto.
This isn’t the whole truth. Research by the PEW Research Center in partnership with Parse.ly shows that the long-form has gained traction on mobile.
On the one hand, there are much more short-form news articles than long-form pieces online. (Of the 74,840 articles accessed for the study only 24 per cent were long-form, ≥ 1,000 words). But the average number of unique visitors (complete interactions) for the long-form is on par with that for the short-form.
The extra length doesn’t put users off and they like engaging with the long-form, well, for longer. “When it comes to the relative time consumers spend with this content, long-form journalism does have a place in today’s mobile-centric society,” the PEW report concludes.
Good news: It doesn’t look like in-depth news reports will die out!
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