After Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential elections last night, media analysts were quick to point out that a lot of it was due to his mastery of the hysterics stemming from a 24-hour news cycle and social media, especially Twitter. Short, pointed zingers, and a lot of viral statements rank higher in this day and age of shortened attention spans than in-depth discourse, and the way we consume news on our phones is seemingly a big part of it, too.
The research firm Flurry Analytics ran an analysis of this election cycle, and it turns out that the average news apps attention span was no longer than 48 hours, even for the biggest scandals and stories that emerged during the run-up to yesterday’s polls. The biggest spike was after the Access Hollywood revelations about Donald Trump’s comments on women – 18% mobile session growth compared to the average day in the month – but even that quickly fizzled out and people toned down their news app sessions. The first presidential debate also saw a decent uptick in mobile news sessions with 12%, and that’s about it.
Given the way we consume news on the go and on the shallow these days, inundated with distractions from everywhere, the Trump campaign rightfully concluded that any outrage won’t last, and most of them Twitter rants are storms in a tea cup that boil over quickly without lasting impact.
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