WHY IS EVERY OTHER STORY ON FACEBOOK A LIST?
You don’t even have to be a hyperactive social media slave child to see this. Your Facebook feeds, in fact who am I kidding? The whole damn internet is full of listing stories. It could be a story titled “10 ways to get a guy”, “5 reasons Delhi girls are awesome” or “100 ways to kill yourself!”, such stories are everywhere!
It’s one of those crazy internet trends that you simple cannot fight. As a writer I’m always rooting for quality content because, writers think (more like know), that the world is becoming dumber by the day and we have the burden of saving the world with our literary prowess and grammar Nazism on our shoulders. I’ve decided to dole out my two cents of advice (worth a lot of money in smaller countries) about this phenomenon which I both love and hate. So dig in my fellow internet user. Also read: 4 Ways Men Fall In Love
The Catchy Headlines
Writers & editors have been working their derrieres off from centuries trying to formulate good headlines. A listing story instantly gives you a headline that explains itself, draws the reader in and at the same time conveys the soul of the story. A listing story almost gives rookie writers a format or a formula if you may please to work their story around. Also read: Tips To Help You Start Writing
It’s so simple that anyone with basic typing skills and spell check can become a writer on the internet. The sad part is the soulless writing and the completely pointless stories. I mean who actually reads stories titled: “10 Signs that you’re a good person?” I mean if you are a good person you just know it don’t you? I mean Mahatma Gandhi knew didn’t he? And he didn’t even have an iPhone.
The Colourful Pictures
Images constitute at least 50% of the space in most listing stories; take the one you’re reading for example. Most of these stories are at best 500-600 word long. That helps writers dole out stories faster than gaalis are doled out on Delhi and judgements in Mumbai. These images also draw attention to the story itself and help the article paint a better picture in the readers mind. (Because who really has the patience to use their own imagination these days right?) Also read: The Best Ways To Eat Chocolate
Jest aside, images can enhance and add value to a good listing story. I often read articles that are essentially “How To” stories, to better my riding skills (Yes I’m a biker, had to bring that up!) or at times just to brush up my editing skills (which are terrible by the way, this article is going to be full of typos... I just know it!)
The Shelf Life
A good listing story (like this one) has a good shelf life i.e. readers revisit it again and again, so the folks who are running the website make money off it years after the writer has been given his or her flimsy compensation. They can be re-used at regular intervals and more readers will always be there to consume this content. Also read: What Are You Doing With Your Life?
It’s a win-win situation unless of course you are out doing some research. In that case listing stories will offer you very little knowledge and help, because very rarely do writers bother to put up detailed listing stories. However anyone smart enough knows that Google’s metrics are setup in a way that no matter how good your SEO is, it still gives preference to rich content (Which usually tends to into at least a 1000+ words) Also read: Quick Movie Reviews: Gone Girl, Nightcrawler & Interstellar
The Speed Of Quick Take Outs
Most people on the internet don’t read entire articles and people have stopped bothering about it because the website still runs profitably. All they need is for you to get there and then keep you engaged for as long as possible- if not with this list then with another!
On a more serious note listing stories use the same logic as the classic bullet points- they give the reader the opportunity to skim through the article and gather it’s gist without actually going into the details. And those according to me are the key reasons your Facebook feeds are full of listing stories.