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Saturday, 24 September 2011

On The Shelf

How effective is the links that you have shared? Looking for a longer 'shelf life' for your content?  It might pay to use video as it has been reinforced yet again, that the internet has a very short attention span.

YouTube has a half-life of around 7 hours as viewers need to concentrate more than reading simple text.

The news is worse, according to,  for links posted on  direct web pages and social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter . If you haven't captured their click-throughs when three hours have passed then your chances of doing so get a lot slimmer.  Click rates drop by half after this period of time

Breaking news that generates wide interest has an even steeper drop-off rate. The first five minutes of release results in half of the click-throughs these items will ever receive.

Distribution of half-lifes over four different referrer types. Facebook, twitter and direct link (links shared via email, instant messengers etc.) half lifes follow a strikingly similar distribution
Bity looked at the half life of 1,000 popular bitly links and the results were surprisingly similar.

"The mean half life of a link on Twitter is 2.8 hours, on Facebook it’s 3.2 hours and via ‘direct’ sources (like email or IM clients) it’s 3.4 hours. So you can expect, on average, an extra 24 minutes of attention if you post on Facebook than if you post on Twitter."

Their key finding is "that the lifespan of your link is connected more to what content it points to than on where you post it: on the social web it’s all about what you share, not where you share it!"

Twitter would appear to be the better channel if you want people to view your content quickly.

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