A new “clickmap” tool is making some ask whether video may be a bigger driver of clicks than previously thought. According to Poynter’s E-Media Tidbits, a researcher at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) has developed a new tool for tracking where Web users actually click on site pages in close to real time.
In a test of the tool, the DR found “…users click the picture 2-3 times more often than the headline. It seems presenting a video still with a YouTube-style play arrow changes viewer habits instantly.”
The post by the DR’s Ernst Poulsen goes on to offer the following:
Of course, this tool can’t indicate whether users read headlines before they decide to click, or if they decide based on the picture alone. However, it’s fairly clear that even if users are relying at least partly on text headlines to decide whether to click, the headline need not be the only entry path to the article.
It may also be that a site like YouTube has changed users habits: training people to click video stills when they want to watch video and headlines when they want to read text.