How people read online: Why you won’t finish this article.
Photo by Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images I’m going to keep this brief, because you’re not going to stick around for long. I’ve already lost a bunch of you. For every 161 people who landed on this page, about 61 of you—38 percent—are already gone. You “bounced” in Web traffic jargon, meaning you spent no time “engaging” with this page at all. So now there are 100 of you left. OK, fine, good riddance. Wait, hold on, now you guys are leaving too? I better get on with it. Schwartz’s data shows that readers can’t stay focused. OK, we’re a few hundred words into the story now. Take a look at the following graph created by Schwartz, a histogram showing where people stopped scrolling in Slate articles. A typical Web article is about 2000 pixels long. Courtesy of Chartbeat Chartbeat’s data shows that most readers scroll to about the 50 percent mark, or the 1,000th pixel, in Slate stories. Or look at John Dickerson’s fantastic article about the IRS scandal or something. A Slate Plus Special Feature:
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