Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
Read It Later launched in 2007 as an app for users to save articles they come across online and, well, read them later.
It really is a tremendously simple app to use, but it seems users are doing much more than catching up on their reading with it, as the company has announced that video-saves have increased by 138% in the past year alone, and YouTube is now its most-saved domain.
“As video consumption has exploded on the Web, and as content has become more multimedia-rich, we realized early on that our users weren’t just saving articles to read—they were saving their favorite video clips from YouTube, Vimeo, and beyond,” said Read It Later’s Mark Armstrong and Matt Koidin. “Even the articles weren’t just text anymore—they’re a mix of writing, images and embedded video.”
Indeed, in-app video-streaming was enabled within Read It Later back in 2010 to meet this growing demand, and the company says that its app is “helping people consume longer video than what’s been traditionally embraced on the Web.” It seems that from its top 1,000 saved videos, the median length was almost thirty minutes.
Here’s a quick snapshot of how video-consumption has shifted on Read It Later over the past 15 months. As you can see, video domains have shot up from around 100,00 to somewhere in the region of 260,000.
It goes without saying that YouTube is the number one video platform for Read It Later, but here’s how all the major sites perform. It’s worth stressing that Read It Later only offers video-viewing optimized for YouTube and Vimeo:
YouTube may notch up the biggest number of hits, but it doesn’t have the highest number of ‘loyal’ visitors, that is to say those who return time and again. College Humor and Break.com perform best on this front, with YouTube coming in seventh:
If you’re curious to know the most saved videos on Read It Later, here’s the top 5:
- Somebody That I Used to Know (4:25)
- Address Is Approximate (2:43)
- Star Wars Uncut: Director’s Cut (2 hours)
- 23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health? (9:19)
- The Joy of Books (1:51)
Read It Later is available across multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, Kindle and the Web, and it now has more than four million users. These really are quite impressive numbers though, and it seems ‘Watch It Later’ might actually be a more appropriate title for the app if this is anything to go by.
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