Food for Thought: The Bottomless Bowl of Infinite Scroll

Ever noticed you or your spouse scrolling endlessly on Facebook? What starts as a quick look turns into 10 minutes of time spent randomly wandering through Facebook.

It’s no accident… welcome to the bottomless bowl of infinite scroll. This doesn’t just apply to social media, it’s hard wired into human DNA. According to Cornell University, when someone is given a bottomless bowl of soup, people eat an astounding 73% more than if they have to refill their own bowl. This type of behavioral economics is a key aspect of the Facebook business model, which worth noting, generated $7 billion in revenue during their latest quarter.

Humans are inherently lazy. While you might think that it doesn’t take much effort to click on a link at the bottom of a story, it’s more effort than Facebook believes is necessary and they are not alone.

But what about page views? Take a look at ESPN… the Worldwide Leader in Sports. As the bottomless bowl moves from one article to the next, the address in your URL changes without the user doing anything. Here’s an article about the NFL MVP race, as you scroll from one article to the next, pay attention to your URL.

Meanwhile for daily newspapers including the legendary Page Six, it’s still a page view strategy built on one and done.

Not to be outdone, while trying to increase page views and time spent, radio websites are almost exclusively one and done as well. When you click on a story or article on any station site, you can scroll to the bottom of the bowl (article) in 3-5 seconds. True both on mobile and desktop. Radio would do well to emulate Facebook and ESPN, while distancing itself from the user experience found on local newspaper sites.

On-air, radio isn’t just competing with stations up and down the dial and it’s even more true online.

The people visiting your website are highly engaged fans. Why not keep their attention longer and keep your brand top of mind with an updated web strategy. It could be the perfect gift to give yourself this holiday season.

On behalf of Catherine Jung, Doug Smith and the rest of the DMR/Interactive team, thanks for reading and working to drive radio forward.

Andrew Curran, President and COO, DMR/Interactive


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