How long is "long form"? Longer than you think…

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Some interesting figures on the length of popular long articles saved into read later app Pocket:

In the Top 500 most-saved articles from the first half of 2015, we found that the average article length is 3,190 words, which would take over 15 minutes to read.

Now, you’d expect that the most popular articles in pocket would skew long – the longer the article, the more likely you are to save it for a moment when you can take your sweet time reading it. But the “peaks” are interesting:

Pocket's most saved

You’d expect the high end to be low, because the number of articles produced at that length is low. Equally, short articles are generally less worth saving. Bit 2k to 5k is a smaller category of article than 1k to 2k, and yet far more are saved.

An interesting suggestion there that we should be going a bit more in-depth with articles than we do at the moment. (1k to 2k is the “classic” feature length everywhere I’ve worked).

featuresJournalismjournalism trendslong form contentlong-formPocket

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.