April 3, 2012 at 11:05 AM ET
If you're one of 4.5 million Read It Later users, you don't just engage the app for setting aside articles, but increasingly, videos as well.
In fact, Read It Later users are saving hundreds of thousands of videos -- mostly fromYouTube -- and those videos tend to be long, with a median length of nearly 30minutes.
The five-year-old app recently ran an analysis and found that in the past year, video saves have grown 138 percent, from a little over 96,000 monthly saves in December 2010 to more than 260,000 a month as of January 2012. It began supporting in-app streaming video in 2010. (That said, editorial director Mark Armstrong said articles still dominate the saves on the site, vs. videos.)
Read It Later is available for free and for a fee on most platforms, including iOS, Android and on web browsers. The app currently offers in-app streaming only for YouTube and Vimeo, so YouTube is not-so-shockingly the most saved domain on Read It Later, with 92 percent of the saves.
On YouTube, you can also save videos for watching later, but this app allows for a little bit of a mix. Other sites, such as Instapaper, save Web pages to read for later, which for some of us, can add up fast. Read It Later really does expect you to read articles (or watch videos) later, and not use the app for archival bookmarking, as you might do with Delicious.
But it does allow for users to revisit websites to watch videos on other sites, though that only accounts for two percent of the video saves. College Humor, Break.com, Comedy Central, Hulu and Vevo make the up the top five video domains for that category.
While we often think that the attention span of the average Internet user is on the short side, when Read It Later analyzed its top 1,000 saved videos, from July through December, 32 percent were over 5 minutes long, and the median length was about a half hour.
As the blog post about the analysis puts it:
So, in an era of TED Talks, Khan Academy and university courses, we’re seeing evidence that users will embrace longform video if given the tools to do so in a way that fits with their daily lives. Of course, with 68 percent of videos saved under 5 minutes, short-form still rules: As our Most-Saved Videos list shows (see below), users love to save everything from music videos to animation, movie trailers, news clips and more. Shorter clips also represent the vast majority of video content produced for the web.
One of longest videos saved has to be "10 Hours of Darth Vader Breathing" -- and yes, it's 10 hours long and seems to be really all about Darth Vader's deep, deep breaths -- while the No. 3 most popular saved video is a two-and-a-half hour long crowd sourced version of the original "Star Wars: A New Hope."
The most popular saved video is, however, much shorter: Walk off the Earth's cover of Gotye's "Somebody that I used to Know." (Both very cool videos, but we've embedded the cover below.)