Is The World's Attention Span Shrinking? And Is It Really Shorter Than A Goldfish?
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Is The World's Attention Span Shrinking? And Is It Really Shorter Than A Goldfish?

In the past 15 years reports say society's attention span has decreased to 8 seconds.

Is The World's Attention Span Shrinking? And Is It Really Shorter Than A Goldfish?

According to reports, the human attention span is shrinking (thanks to technology). In 2018, a study said that the average human has an attention span of 8 seconds and that is a decrease from 2000's study of 12 seconds. And according to Jampp, found the human attention span decreases by 88% every year.

The study states that we have a shorter attention span than a dog that has a 27-second attention span, and a goldfish that has a 9-second attention span. So a goldfish has a bigger attention span than we do? It is crazy to think that we cannot sit or stand for more than 8 seconds before we need to read or look at something else.

These kinds of studies, true or not, have made marketers get more creative. In a nutshell, this reveals a few quick facts:

  • People do not have enough patience to read through your content.
  • Even when people want to read your content, if it appears too comprehensive they won't bother reading it at all.
  • Factors many people do not consider as part of their content strategy — factors such as site speed — matters a great deal.
Adults truly are like young children; we like pretty, colorful, eye-catching photos. More people would rather see a big bold photo that is marketing the product than read about it. This goes for articles as well. More people would rather look at a photo and read a very brief Synopsis about the product.


This is why marketers are using social media more than ever. They use the KISS principle, (Keep It Simple, Stupid).

Nick Dutko, the CEO of Auto Transport Quote Services, notes, "Ultimately, the goal of a solid content marketing strategy is to drive good ROI. There is no point in having content that does not add to your bottom line. For this reason, simple, clear content will always win."

Following simple techniques will help. Bullet points are your friend - you are using simple words that get straight to the point, and by using photos to break up your paragraphs, this will help keep the person's attention.

  • Highlight important keywords
  • Use bullets to make important points stand out
  • Use subheadings to break out key sections
  • Focus on one idea per paragraph
If your content is important, then it bears repeating it. All those key pieces of your content should be repeated. In fact, repetition can be the most powerful part of your content strategy if done right.
  • Repurpose key pieces of content into different formats (images, videos, slides, text, etc.).
  • Distribute key pieces of content across different channels (email, social media, presentation sites, etc.).
  • Use smart retargeting to get people to see your content again and again.


Comparing the two social media graphics, people are more likely to look at the one that is more simple and bold, than to stop and read everything on this one.

Make your content engaging and straight to the point. People don't want to stop and read a brochure or ad that has a lot of words. Using simple text with colors and eye-popping graphics will keep their attention longer. Whether the studies are true or not, people do like photos and simple text more than a short novel they need to read to get to the point of the product.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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