Marketers today need content and plenty of it. Ebooks and whitepapers make great giveaways, but, increasingly, users demand their info in bite-size chunks. Enter short-form content.
By definition, short-form content is created quickly and consumed even faster. Widely used examples include tweets, Facebook and/or LinkedIn status updates, Instagram photos, and even truncated blog posts and articles.
Josh Schwartz, a data scientist at traffic analysis firm Chartbeat, took a look at how people scroll through Slate articles. His data shows that readers can’t stay focused. “When people land on a story, they very rarely make it all the way down the page. A lot of people don’t even make it halfway.”
Popular apps and software like the following confirm that users are hungry for short and sweet.
• Snapguide, an app that lets users create and share concise step-by-step “how-to” guides. Example: School of Architecture, Kingston University London.
• Snapchat, a mobile photo and video sharing service developed by Stanford University students. Talk about short! Messages posted to Snapchat self-destruct after they’re viewed. (P.S. Snapchat is H-O-T, having recently turned down a $3 billion buy offer from Facebook.) Also consider SnapChat Stories, eager to grow in ever smaller ways with VC money waiting in the wings. Example: Sorry, no examples are available; they’ve all self-destructed.
There’s one more short-form app I’m compelled to add because it’s so futuristic. This app — Summly — generates short content for users automatically. Developed by a 17-year-old Brit and recently sold to Yahoo for a rumored $30 million, Summly delivers machine-generated news summaries to mobile users.