Studies show that longer content IS engaging
Two new studies on video and social traffic have found that audiences are happily engaging with longer pieces of content.
Audience tracker Parse.ly and social video builder Wochit both observed that content that takes longer to digest is being embraced, meaning there might not even be enough supply for demand.
The top 50 per cent of visits to pages tracked by Parse.ly, after excluding those of under 15 seconds, are between one and seven minutes. On the video side, Wochit found that content longer than 90 seconds received nearly 80 per cent more shares and views than videos of other lengths.
Parse.ly looked at 1.6 billion visits to 18 million publisher posts over the first six months of 2017 to break down the data between bounce rate and engaged time. Data analysts consider ‘engaged time’ to be the initial page click plus the ‘heartbeat’ recorded if the visitor has been active, such as scrolling and swiping, in 15 second increments.
They then separated engaged time by bad visits or mis-clicks (under 15 seconds), passers-by (15 to 30 seconds), short-stays (30-60 seconds) and long-stays (more than 60 seconds).
Wochit’s study focused exclusively on Facebook and found that longer videos resulted in sharply increased engagement. Content longer than 90 seconds has, on average, higher engagement than those of other durations.
Instagram could let you follow hashtags
Instagram is testing a new feature that allows some users to search for a hashtag and subsequently follow it.
The Instagram algorithm means niche content is currently placed at the bottom of a user’s social feed, opting to promote posts that will encourage engagement.
People who are fans of more obscure accounts, but rarely see the posts these days, can instead follow the hashtag to get updates.
The service will aim to select the most popular and recent posts, but it does mean that Instagram’s audience will be able to focus more on following accounts that are based on their interests.
More brands and influencers to get access to Instagram branded content tools
After rolling out branded sponsorship tools in June, Instagram has announced it is broadening this access to ‘Instagrammers with high levels of engagement’.
This will give many more users access to the ‘branded content’ tag option, while Instagram will up measures to ensure people use it.
Recently, Instagram has monitored community sentiment on the social platform, along with the businesses and creators that use the branded content tool. They’ve learned that the tool provides valuable insights, making it easier for influencers to communicate when they’re working in partnership with a business.
Instagram is keen to ensure better transparency when it comes to paid posts, particularly celebrity endorsements. Greater transparency will help enhance trust in the ads provided on social networks.
These new tools will help Instagram, which has more than 800 million users, work with the rise of influencer marketing, as brands clamour to spread their messages to a rapidly growing audience.
Google updates to Knowledge Panel
Google is to introduce a new type of Knowledge Panel aimed exclusively at publishers. The panel fills the entire above-the-fold section of search results and contains information to help searchers learn more about a publication’s tone, history and expertise.
It includes a description of the publication, a Wikipedia link, any awards won, topics covered and claims made that have been approved by a third party.
While the Knowledge Panel does appear at the top of search results, other pages rankings from the publisher won’t be affected. The panels are generated by Google, meaning individual publisher can’t opt out of having one.
Most businesses already have a Knowledge Panel, and will be watching to see if the changes to publishers’ panels follow into other sectors.
Live restaurant waiting times being rolled out on Google search
Planning to go out for dinner, but didn’t reserve a table? Google can tell you how long you might have to wait.
Soon, Google will be able to estimate wait times and display them in Search, Maps and in real-time.
The feature will be rolled out to nearly 1million restaurants across the globe and all users have to do is type in the name to see the current wait time, located in the Popular Times section.
Much like Popular Times and Visit Duration, the wait time estimates are based on historical data.