I have a confession to make, I don’t care for video news on websites. When I visit sites like cnn.com or espn.com and I see the little video icon next to a news article, I cringe. Don’t get me wrong, I like my YouTube as much as the next guy. The problem lies in using the medium simply for the sake of using the medium. We’re always told about how ‘disruptive’ video will be and how we must add more of it to our sites. What no one seems to talk about is how video can actually be a barrier to conveying information. As someone who reads the vast majority of news on a smartphone while commuting, here are some of my issues:
- I can scan an article for the main ideas, I cannot scan a video.
- 90% of a news video is a person reading a story to me, the other 10% is stock footage.
- Video takes too long to load over mobile networks (especially when riding the train).
- Video loads in a different app on my smartphone. When viewing a video, I can’t effectively continue browsing the site.
When evaluating the use of video, ask yourself, is this something where the medium is adding to the experience? Consider video as a supporting feature for news items, not the only method of consumption.