How Do Millennials Like to Read the News? Very Much Like Their Grandparents

Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, Dec 12, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is an interesting result: "Young mobile readers don't want apps and mobile browsers that look like the future. They want apps that look like the past: 58% of those under 50, and 60% of Millennials, prefer a 'print-like experience' over tech features like audio, video, and complex graphics. That preference toward plain text "tends to hold up across age, gender and other groups." Pew reports: 'Those under 40 prefer the print-like experience to the same degree as those 40 and over.'" But I have an explanation: print (and print with images) give the reader control over presentation other formats do not. You can't really skim a video. You can't watch a video backwards the way you can read an article bottom-up. The only way to browse a video is to use text-based chaptger headings. It's not that readers are traditionalists. It's that they like control.

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