by Dennis Clerke, President of Monetization at NetSeer.
A recent PBS NewsHour story on chronic illness plaguing adults was a photo essay. No statistical data, no mention of medical journals, no expert doctor commentary. Only pictures of people with their illness written on their arms and hands covering their mouth. Yet, it was engaging and impactful.
Why only visual images in a medical news story? It probably has a lot to do with a few increasingly well known facts about how we process visual content that are frequently referenced in relation to digital content on the web. This includes the Microsoft news earlier this year that we now have attention spans of barely more than eight seconds – less than a goldfish, which is notoriously engageable for what now seems like an eternity of nine seconds.