Upworthy released a blog post today announcing their new model for measuring success: Attention Minutes.
Their source code and more information about its implementation is promised for the coming months (something to look forward to besides spring?). But for now, let’s take a look at their reasoning
Pageviews have long been on the way out and Upworthy has decided that shares, unique visitors, and Google Analytics’ time on site metrics just aren’t cutting it for them. By tracking “everything from video player signals about whether a video is currently playing, to a user’s mouse movements, to which browser tab is currently open,” Upworthy says this move ”will accelerate the drive toward quality.” But it’s really about being able to bottle that engagement and sell it to someone — advertisers, subscribers, investors. By tracking what engages users, there’ll be more insight into why they share, which is the goal of viral content.
For real news organizations, watching how Upworthy tracks engagement is a highly recommended winter activity. Knowing what beats your users are most interested and where they’re consuming is vital to improving any digital newsroom. Shares and uniques are good estimates, but Upworthy’s right: it’s not enough, and sometimes misleading. Who knows what we’ll find out about our audience.
Has your newsrooms experimented with new metrics across sites? What’s the focus for you — shares or pageviews?