Twenty something years ago, newspaper and magazine articles started to live online (1500 words). Several years later came blogs, which summarized, quoted, lauded and scrutinized those articles (600 words). Then there were Tweets which pointed to those blogs (140 characters). Now there is Instagram (a 4×3 photo).
See a trend? Our attention spans for written content are shrinking. In fact, congratulations for making it this far.
Which is why @SavedYouAClick is worthy of chuckle, applause, and cringe. It’s a fast-growing Twitter feed which sent its first transmission less than a month ago and has already passed 80,000 followers.
Good content will always triumph, no matter how long it takes to absorb (see: “Who Wants to Shoot an Elephant” by GQ).
But SYAC is taking aim at newsfeeds that use cheap cliffhangers to get a click and plays the role of 5-word spoiler. There is something so fantastic in its buzzkilling simplicity.
Took a selfie. RT @Cosmopolitan: Man climbs Brazil’s Cristo Redentor statue; you won’t BELIEVE what he did at the top:
— Saved You A Click (@SavedYouAClick) June 2, 2014
Clicks are obviously still the major benchmark in our online content world. And digital content sites have moved to structures that serve more ad impressions per story. That’s why photo galleries are presented over 15 pages, and Top 10 lists are painstakingly revealed to you one-by-one in reverse order (Buzzfeed!).
Another oft-employed tactic is using leading cliffhanger language in tweets or homepage media walls to get you to click (hello, Yahoo!).
In the battle against clickbait, @SavedYouAClick is the ultimate Twitter Cliff’s Note. Which will work great until we can have our thoughts and feelings sent to us via a Snapchat later next month.
Thanks for reading this far. I knew I only had you for a short while. Here’s to hoping @SavedYouAClick will summarize this for us all.