Welcome back to Volume 5 of our What We’re Reading blog post series! This series aims to share our favorite articles, posts, and reports, relevant to the growing world of digital publishing, with our publishers, readers, and commenters. If you haven’t done so already, you can check out our last post in the series here. As always, we love to hear your opinions about these articles and others that you are reading. So, be sure to share your thoughts with us below in the comments! 

Instagram Will Test Hiding 'Likes' in the US Starting Next Week


Adrienne So - Wired 

I know what you’re thinking— Instagram is an engagement platform, what do you mean they’re going to hide engagement metrics? I thought the same thing. So far they’ve tested out hiding likes in Hiding likes in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand. Hiding likes is another step in Instagram’s goal of becoming the “safest place on the internet,” and they hope that this project could help to improve their users’ mental health or even the quality of content and discussions on the social platform. 


This text-generation algorithm is supposedly so good it’s frightening. Judge for yourself.


Joshua Benton - Nieman Lab 

If you’re curious to see what content written entirely by bots would look like, then this is a great piece for you. The alleged threat of this machine is not, as some journalists have feared, that this AI is going to now cover city council meetings or compile viral tweets more efficiently than a real-life reporter could. It’s more that the ease of generating “semi-convincing” content could make it easier and more efficient to pump out thousands or millions of individually tailored misinformation, spam emails, or some other text-based form of trickery. Could this technological advancement just increase the spread of fake news?


How Delish nearly doubled its site traffic by focusing on search


Kayleigh Barber - Digiday 

If I told you that you have to bet on Google or Facebook to increase your site traffic, which would you choose? I hope you chose Google! Check out how Delish, a social-first food publication, sky rocketed their site traffic by focusing on search instead of social. They drilled down into what users were searching for and started to incorporate content that was specifically crafted to answering keyword searches and inquiries. Search now makes up 54% of their traffic.


“Moments of Next”: Nielsen identifies exactly when readers are most engaged, and how publishers can benefit from it


Monojoy Bhattarjee - What’s New In Digital Publishing 

At a time where attention spans are the new digital currency, it’s more important than ever to understand when your readers are most willing and ready to see new content. In fact, attention spans dropped from the already low number of 12 seconds in 2000 to just 8 seconds in 2018 (beating the infamously forgetful goldfish!). Nielsen set out to find the remedy to this ever-shrinking attention span dilemma, and better understand human attentiveness and emotional response with different content. The study explores how publishers can capitalize on those moments, what people really want to see, and publishers can provide to keep readers engaged.