How We Read the Internet Is Changing Again and Here’s What Publishers Can Do to Adapt

Publishers take note: how are you reading this article right now? Are you on your mobile phone waiting for a bus? Perusing your tablet at a cafe? At your computer at work or home? Maybe you’re actually on all three, moving between one another with great ease? You are not alone.

Welcome to the changing consumption habits of the internet (again). But luckily, we’re here to help this time.

A recent study from the Pew Research Centerfinds some surprising and positive insights into readership and consumption habits. A majority of Americans get the news through at least one digital, web-based device and 23% now get the news on more than one (and sometimes three) devices.

Of these Americans, 58% of American adults have a smartphone (as of January 2014) and they use it to go on the internet. In fact, for the first time ever, mobile internet usage overtook PC computer internet usage, meaning more people used their phone and tablet to browse the web than their personal computer. As much as 50% of traffic can be from mobile these days.

Times are changing (again). So how can publishers get ahead of the game this time?

Understand reader behavior with Quietly Insights’ reader engagement metrics.


The first step is to understand how  content is being read and the future of the platforms it’s being consumed on. What’s most important to grasp about this is that people aren’t necessarily gravitating towards one device—most favour using multiple devices at once. It’s called screen stacking, and it already distracts us from longer content.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: it’s all about the microcontent. Microcontent is the only real contender for the screen stacking brain. Publishers will want to create light content that can be consumed quickly (and maybe Quietly?… I’ll see myself out). This is because a consumer might switch between devices, ignoring the content that is literally sitting in front of them.

Or maybe, a consumer switches devices to look at articles for later. Picture this: a person is on their phone and they come across my article “How Every Publisher Can Create A Strategy To Make Their Content Succeed,” but only have time to really just glance at it on their phone. The list at the top of the article is what they choose to read and after reading it for a few minutes, they save the list or article for later on a larger device to read the longform later when they have more time or more interest to read something longer. This scenario works well with worrying more about time spent on the site than page clicks, too.

Look at the screen stacking phenomenon as having the glass half full. The internet is changing the way we do everything (again), but this time publishers can be ahead of the curve. You understand that the internet is important and now you know that the rise of mobile and tablets are even more important than ever.

6 Key Facts About The Rise Of Mobile Internet

By Emily E. Steck

More people are using their phones & tablets to check the internet than their computers. Here are 7 key facts to consider about the growing market.

  • Mobile Internet Is The Only Access Point For Some

    By Emily E. Steck

    "34% of cell internet users go online mostly using their phones, and not using some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer."

  • How We Use The Internet

    By Emily E. Steck

    Our mobile internet time broken down: 32% is spent playing games; 25% is spent on social networks (with 75& of that spent on Facebook); 2% is reading news and 2% is using productivity tools. 

  • On Mobile, More People Use Apps Than Mobile Web

    By Emily E. Steck

  • The 25 Most Popular Mobile Apps in America

    By Emily E. Steck

    Facebook is by far the most popular. More than 20% of the apps are social media apps. None of the apps are games. Consider where you push 

  • Social Media Means More On Mobile

    By Emily E. Steck

    People love using their gadgets to read content, and on these gadgets they are more likely to read content shared on social media, according to Pew Research.

  • The Age Groups Who Are Mobile Addicts

    By Emily E. Steck

Image Credit: tribehut via Flickr

Understand and deliver better content marketing with Quietly Insights.

Understand how Quietly can help play a role in your content marketing efforts.

Speak to a Strategist Today

Get a free consultation for your content marketing strategy.

Speak to a Strategist Today