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Our limited attention spans consuming unlimited content

It has been said that the average person loses interest/attention after only 6 seconds into a video.
When a goldfish has an attention span of 9 seconds, it is shocking to discover how our attention spans are getting shorter as a result of our increasingly digitalised lifestyle. According to an article I read, our attention span has plummeted from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to a staggering 8 seconds in 2016 – this being less than a goldfish. The rise of the smartphone has said to have contributed to our limited attention spans and it is for this reason that social media platforms and marketers have had to adapt in order to remain relevant and ultimately to survive. An example is Vine.

Vine is a short video-sharing network where Viners are able to share six-second long looping video clips. The social network has become increasingly popular in just four years. The reason the platform has done so well is because it caters to the average person's short attention span, allowing viewers to consume large amounts of content in a short period of time.

But what really makes people keep coming back to a certain Viner’s profile or any other social influencer’s account? I had a look at the most popular social media accounts to narrow down certain characteristics that contribute to the success of an influencer’s profile and why these profiles have been successful in gaining the attention of so many followers. Here's what it came down to…

Humour


Another reason Vine has done so well is because in just 6 seconds, the videos can have you in stitches, repeating the video over and over again, and then still sharing the video with your friends.



The hilarious social media account, Sarcasm Only has also done exceptionally well. The Instagram account is dedicated to providing its 8.3 million followers with an unlimited supply of E-Cards to share and enjoy.



Self-improvement:


Whether it’s to improve your style, makeup or workout regime, more people are following accounts that make it easy for us to follow tips and improve ourselves. An example is the very popular YouTube channel BeFit. The channel offers its over 2 million subscribers new workouts for every weekday. The videos are created by some of the best personal trainers such as Jillian Michaels, Denise Austin and Jane Fonda.



For beauty addicts like myself, accounts that offer makeup tutorials and beauty tips also tend to do really well. Huda Beauty is a blog that was created by Huda Kattan. With 13 million Instagram followers, a very successful blog, and YouTube channel, this beauty sensation has built an empire. She also has her very own product line called Huda Beauty, which is known for its extravagant lashes.



Informative/interesting


In terms of our short attention spans, Snapchat is another platform that has mastered the art of catering to our attention spans. In just 10 seconds you can catch up on the latest updates, be it celebrity news (Cosmopolitan) or actual news (CNN).

Vice on Snapchat
Vice is a great account to follow in terms of being relevant and informative. The account includes some of the most interesting and bizarre documentaries that will always leave you feeling both enlightened and entertained. It even provides you with your daily horoscope! Have a look at some of their videos in the ‘discover’ section of Snapchat. Though our attention spans may be shrinking, our ability to multitask has improved, allowing us to hop from one social media platform to the next, and ultimately remaining on the page that successfully intrigues us the most.
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About Chiara Di Rago

Chiara Di Rago is leading the industry when it comes to influencer marketing and how best to utilise new platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat. Utilising her BA in Strategic Communications, 22 year old Di Rago has carved out a position as thought leader in the "new" social space. After a short internship at influencer marketing platform Webfluential, she was offered a full time position handling influencer relations and social media marketing.
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