There are entire enterprises built around instantaneity. And we’re not talking about Maggi Noodles (unfortunately). We’re talking more Snapchat, more Instagram.
Speed is a hot commodity in the social space: Facebook are pushing their Instant Articles, and Google are busy bringing their Accelerated Mobile Pages to the world. Most recently, Facebook has rolled out their Instant Video feature for Messenger. If you’re not getting this (we’re sure you are), the future is fast. And if you care about attention spans, attention seeking, and attention grabbing, you’ll have to keep up.
We’d hesitate to say that the new generation of technology users are impatient. But the ‘digital age’ (as old and tired as that term is) has set a standard, and that standard has formed an expectation or two. It’s not that millennials or Gen X are impatient, it’s just that they expect their technology to work properly, often relying upon it for work, or essential information. But it really does come down to this: nobody likes to be kept waiting. Kissmetrics surveyed mobile users and found that they would wait a maximum of 10 seconds for a website to load before abandoning the page and going elsewhere. Yep, you’re losing customers. With the pioneering of aforementioned technologies that make loading speeds a thing of the past, the danger is only increasing. If you look into the bounce rate of your website and see that it’s uncomfortably high, you might be experiencing a problem with load times. Especially as mobile strides towards new levels of supremacy, the longevity of your brand can be decided by your ability to stay agile.
It’s not just attention spans that have changed, it’s the way people do business. People expect contact with their favourite brands even when they’re not in store. Office hours have been disassembled by the world wide web and the global audience it allows. As a small business, with a small base of employees, it’s nigh impossible to live up to this expectation of instantaneity by manual means. This is where technology, and the engagement of a digital agency, comes to be a face-saver. Being reached instantly builds trust, but it’s hard for a small business to achieve that level of client contact. One day, we’ll probably all have chatbots that auto-reply to any enquiry you receive. But right now, they’re a little buggy and cause a few more problems than they solve (see what we’re talking about). Lucky for you, Facebook’s paving the path there already: you can set up Response Assistant to send an automated “we’ll get back to you soon”. Reassuring on all fronts!
We’ve noticed a correlation over the past few months or so, and it’s one worth paying attention to. Those technologies designed to be instantaneous are also the most attention-grabbing by design. Think about it: Instagram’s new instant ‘Stories’ feature is right up the top of your feed. Instant articles are marked with a little lightning bolt that you’re not going to miss, even while scrolling at top speed. There are some concrete examples, too. Facebook, since releasing their Facebook Live feature, have reported a 10% increase in video engagement. But the answer behind this instant/attention-grabbing trend comes down to one essential thing: it’s mobile. Facebook Live, like Snapchat, Instagram, and Google’s AMP, is designed for mobile.
Facebook Live videos, though designed to be watched as they happen, have a unique new feature: they are downloaded over wifi when your phone’s in range, and will play instantly when you scroll past…. Without causing major data usage concerns.
With this push towards mobile supremacy, you know that it will only frustrate your customers if you stay at snail’s pace. But lucky for you, top speed doesn’t always come at a luxury-sports-car price: there are plenty of ways to stay ahead of the pack that are not only cost-effective but have serious ROI. There’s never been a better time to talk to a digital strategist! But better do it fast…