RESEARCH: Tablets change our reading habits

The multitude of available screens and, especially, the rise of tablets (read: iPad) is thoroughly changing our reading habits, ReadItLater’s research shows.

ReadItLater, which – much like Instapaper – is a very handy tool to read or scan webistes and save them for later reading, has researched 100 million articles to determine how people save and read on computers, mobile phones and tablets. The results clearly indicate a change in reading habits.

Saving articles

Saving happens throughout the entire day (not at night, though), at work, at home and while commuting.

Reading articles

Here is where it becomes interesting…

  • Desk-/laptop: during working hours
  • Smartphone/iPhone: while waiting for or traveling on buses and trains
  • Tablets/iPad: in the evening. The graph below clearly shows that tablets are used in people’s own time, at leisure rather than during working hours.

As ReadItLater describes it on its blog:

“Aside from a quick lunch hour at their desk, iPad owners are no longer doing the majority of their reading on their computers.  They are saving it for their personal prime time, when they can relax comfortably, iPad in hand and burn through the content they found during the day (…) When a reader is given a choice about how to consume their content, a major shift in behavior occurs.  They no longer consume the majority of their content during the day, on their computer.  Instead they shift that content to prime time and onto a device better suited for consumption. As better mobile experiences become more accessible to more readers, this movement will continue to grow.  Readers want to consume content in a comfortable place, on their own time and mobile devices are making it possible for readers to take control once more.”

In other words, readers determine how and when they want to read, hear or see which content. As a brand you should give them the possibility to access your content via different platforms. And do track their behavior on each of these platforms to learn even better which content is relevant to them in which circumstances.

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