I would like to ask you something. Wait, hold on, now you guys are leaving too, is that the case? You're going off to comment? Therefore, come on! There's nothing to say yet. On these sites, the median scroll depth is slightly greater most people get to 60 article percent rather than the 50 percent they reach on Slate pages. With that said, on these pages a higher share of people 10 percent never scroll. Notice, though, the story across the Web is similar to the story at Slate. Few people are making it to the end, and a surprisingly large number aren't giving articles any chance in general.
Web article is about 2000 pixels long. In the graph below, each bar represents readers share who got to a particular depth in the story. Besides, there's a spike at 0 percent, the very top pixel on the page because 5 readers percent never scrolled deeper than that spot. Essentially, chartbeat's data shows that most readers scroll to about the 50 percent mark, or the 1000th pixel, in Slate stories. This is where it starts getting very entertaining, right? That's not very far whatsoever. Take Mario Vittone's piece, published this week, on the warning signs that someone might be drowning. Consequently, if your top browser reached only the 1000th pixel in that article, the bottom of your browser would be at around pixel number 1700. At that point, you'd only have gotten to warning signs No.
Maybe this is just our cultural lot.
We live in skimming age. Needless to say, really stop quitting! Who am I kidding. You're busy. Normally, there's always something else to read, watch, play, or eat. Here's the story. Of course only a small number of you are reading all the way through articles on the Web. Now I've got proof. Josh Schwartz, a data scientist at the traffic analysis firm Chartbeat, to look at how people scroll through Slate articles. Schwartz also did a similar analysis for other sites that use Chartbeat and have allowed the firm to include their traffic in its aggregate analyses.
All this data annoys me, as a writer. It may not be obvious especially to you guys who've already left to watch Arrested Development but I spend loads of time and energy writing these stories. Schwartz, or perhaps I should skip them because they would cause folks to tune out, and maybe it's time to wrap things up anyway … what's all point that, right? Schwartz tells me that on a typical Slate page, only 25 readers percent make it past the page 1600th pixel, and we're way beyond that now. So, sure, like every other writer on the Web, I want my articles to be widely read, which means I want you to Like and Tweet and email this piece to everyone you know. You'd have done it already, Therefore in case you had any inkling of doing that. For instance, you'd probably have done it just after reading the headline and seeing the picture at the top. Nothing I say at this point matters in general.
Take a look at the following graph created by Schwartz, a histogram showing where people stopped scrolling in Slate articles.
Chartbeat can track this information because it analyzes reader behavior in real time every time a Web browser is on a Slate page, Chartbeat's software records what that browser is doing on a secondbysecond basis, including which page portion the browser is currently viewing. OK, this is where I'd come up with some clever ending. Who cares, this is the case right? You certainly don' Let's just go with this. Known kicker TK.
It can't definitively say that people are sharing stories before they've read the whole thing, he told me that Chartbeat can't directly track when individual readers tweet out links. Chartbeat can look at the overall tweets to an article, and then compare that number to how many people scrolled through the article. Here's Schwartz's relationship analysis between scrolling and sharing on Slate pages. They each show the same thing. There's a very weak relationship between scroll depth and sharing. Both at Slate and across the Web, articles that get loads of tweets don't necessarily get read very deeply. With that said, articles that get read deeply aren't necessarily generating plenty of tweets.
What the hey, here are a couple more graphs, after which I promise I'll wrap things up for folks handful who are still left around here.
Schwartz told me I should be very pleased with Slate's map, which shows that loads of people are moved to spend a significant amount of their time below the initial scroll window of an article page. On Slate, that number is 862 percent, On Chartbeat's aggregate data, about 'twothirds' of the time people spend on a page is below the fold.
That's notably good, Schwartz told me. Then again, we generally see that higherquality content causes people to scroll further, and that's amid the highest belowthefold engagement numbers I've ever seen.
Yay! Well, there's one big caveat. Normally, it's probably Slate's page design that's boosting our number there. Slate's belowthefold engagement looks really great, since you usually have to scroll below the fold to see just about any part of an article. It might not look as good, I'd say if articles started higher up on the page. Look at John Dickerson's fantastic article about the IRS scandal or something. This is the case. You would have read just the first four paragraphs, So if you only scrolled halfway through that amazing piece. Basically, trust me when I say that beyond those four paragraphs, John made some really good points about whatever it is his article is about, some strong points that without spoiling it for you really have to read to believe.
The worst thing about Schwartz's graph is the big spike at zero. Like perhaps moving the mouse pointer never scroll in general, about 5 people percent who land on Slate pages and are engaged with the page in some way that is, the page is in a foreground tab on their browser and they're doing something on it. Do you know what you get on a typical Slate page if you never scroll? Bupkis. Relying on the picture size at top of the page the top and the height of your browser window, you'll get, at most, the first sentence or two. There's a good chance you'll see article none anyway. Yet people are leaving without even starting. Let me tell you something. What's wrong with them, is that the case? Why'd they even click on the page, am I correct?
Now there areloads of us are aware that there are 100 of you left.
Nice round number. Not for long! We're at the point in the page where you have to scroll to see more. Of you 100 who didn't bounce, five are never going to scroll. Bye! Now there aremost of us are aware that there are 100 of you left. Nice round number. Notice that not for long! We're at the point in the page where you have to scroll to see more. Oftentimes of you 100 who didn't bounce, five are never going to scroll. Bye!