Let’s face it, we live in an age of information overload. You’ve most likely been scrolling through social media this morning before you even had your first cup of coffee. Information is everywhere and almost anyone has the capacity and capability to create content.
With an average of two and a half hours spent each day on social media, we are constantly filtering endless streams of content for news-worthy titbits of information. This information overload has also affected our attention span considerably, and a worrying link exists between ADHD and excessive social media use. With our average attention span dropping to eight seconds, compared to 12 seconds recorded in the year 2000, we are left with a lot less time to grab attention, and keep it. The few milliseconds a static post will be previewed during a social media scroll simply isn’t enough to grab attention anymore.
Here’s why we use motion, and specifically animation in a digital dump age.
Motion is eye-catching and makes a memorable impression
Studies have shown that we process visuals 60 000 times faster than written text and when the content is animated, your attention is grabbed in less than 1/10th of a second. Check out the image above, did you read what the letters spelled out?
A decade ago, we shifted our attention every three minutes, today we do it every 45 seconds. The average person checks email 74 times a day, and switches tasks on their computer or smartphone 566 times a day.
We make that tiny window of concentration count by creating fun, meaningful and sensible animation.
Check out this cool example.
Algorithms love animation
Social media typically uses algorithms to determine which content you are most likely to spend your time on, and then display that content in your feed first, and more often.
If you like funny cat videos, you will click the links or play all the videos of funny cats. The algorithms will pick this up as something that interests you and will then ‘feed’ you even more funny cat videos. In the same way, if you scroll past content you don’t like, it will prompt the algorithms to display less content of that kind.
It’s soul-purpose? To keep your eyes glued to whichever social media rabbit hole you find yourself in.
You want algorithms to prioritize your content because it can boost how many views your post gets. When you add animation to your post, and keep your audience a little longer, algorithms will pick up on this behaviour and flag it as relevant, reaching a wider audience.
Animation maintains interest in technical and complex concepts
An interesting study on the impact of animation on learning experience was published by the University of Adelaide. You can read the 31-page article here.
Now, for those of you who didn’t even bother to click the link, we get you. In today’s dopamine-addicted society, we rarely have time for tedious tasks such as reading a long-winded study. Unfortunately, that’s how valuable information gets lost.
We read the study so that you don’t have to and animated the findings in the format of a case study:
From the results it is clear that using animation is an effective method to simplify difficult concepts in a fun and engaging way.
To further illustrate (pun intended) the effectiveness of animated explainer videos, check out this video by Ted-Ed on how to solve the Prisoner Hat Riddle. We don’t know about you, but we would have had a really tough time understanding the concept without the help of the visual explanations.
Animation is simpler and often cheaper than recorded video
With animation, we ditch the expensive camera crew and demanding production team. Animation not only offers a cheaper, more exciting solution, but edits and updates can be done almost effortlessly, without reshooting or starting from scratch. Not to mention the side-stepping of large gatherings in the social-distancing age.
Animation is at the core of what we do at Waddle. We can’t get enough of the endless possibilities it has to offer. It is fun and entertaining way to catch interest, explain difficult concepts, boost your social media presence, and make a mark in the memory of your viewers.
Check out our website to see what we can do for you.
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