What is the opinion on publishers on continuous scroll after an article (to read other articles from the same category) - it seems it was a best practice but it has been rolled back by many publishers- ?
Continuous scrolling or infinite scrolling can be defined as having seemingly endless content for users to scroll through and read at the end of whatever content they were searching to begin with. This practice comes with pros and cons. The pros of continuous scrolling include: retaining users, ease of navigation, and ease of usability. The cons of continuous scrolling include: the fact that users cannot choose what content they see and that they cannot skip over any content; they must continue scrolling through the unwanted content to find the information that interests them.
Many large companies have varying opinions of continuous scrolling. Companies such as Forbes, CNN, and Wired are all against continuous scrolling. Companies such as Bloomberg Business, The Daily News, Time, and Quartz support the method. The following information will provide a more in-depth insight into the opinions of publishers on continuous scrolling.
Chief Product Officer at Forbes, Lewis Dvorkin, stated, "We understood the appeal of infinite scrolling, but there wasn’t a lot of extra browsing or consumption of stories happening after people clicked that first article. People were reading maybe one or two in the stream." The company decided that it was not benefiting from infinite scrolling because the environment that it produced did not encourage user engagement.
Through trial and error, Bloomberg came to the conclusion that they would also avoid using infinite scroll methods. After six months of implementing other user engagement methods, the company found that "people who were served the homepage on average have viewed 28 percent more pages per visit than those who were served another article via an algorithm-driven infinite scroll".
The daily news
The Daily News saw possible benefits in using infinite scrolling methods and in early 2017, added a feature called Taboola Feed to their site. This feature "enables Daily News readers to scroll continuously through content on its mobile and desktop websites". The company stated that this feature is particularly useful for their mobile users as a result of their habits on social media platforms.
Although The Economist kept its infinite scroll feature on the desktop version of its site, it decided to cut the feature out completely on the site's mobile version. The company gets 75% of its user engagement through mobile devices and the infinite scroll feature did not "chime brilliantly with their promise to be a trusted "finishability" filter." After cutting the infinite scroll feature out of the mobile site, the views of ads on the site have increased by 30%.
Quartz was initially interested in the infinite scrolling feature and was once a front runner in the popularization of the feature. After concluding that parts of the infinite scroll feature were beneficial and parts were not, they decided to cut the feature from their site, but added something similar. Rather than having an entire article to scroll through following the user's intended content, the user has a list of article titles to choose from. This keeps the user engaged, without forcing them to scroll endlessly in order to find an article they are actually interested in.
There is no overwhelming opinion on either side of the debate when it comes to publishers views on infinite scrolling. Some companies, avoided it completely from the start, some tested the feature and later decided it was not beneficial, and some praise the feature and plan on continuing to use it. If the companies mentioned above had to be categorized, they would be as follows. Companies in support of the infinite scrolling feature are Bloomberg Business, The Daily News, and Quartz. Companies against infinite scrolling are Forbes, CNN, and Wired.