By now, you’ll probably know Upworthy: the liberal-leaning social news site whose stories are shared widely on Facebook. The company’s content can be a bit cloying for some, but alongside BuzzFeed it is working hard to investigate the science of social sharing. So it’s well worth reading a blog post by the company this week about how it measures attention and engagement on its stories. “Clicks and pageviews, long the industry standards, are drastically ill-equipped for the job. Even the share isn’t a surefire measure that the user has spent any time engaging with the content itself,” suggested Upworthy. “The best way to answer the question is to measure what happens between the click and the share. Enter Attention Minutes… everything from video player signals about whether a video is currently playing to a user’s mouse movements to which browser tab is currently open — all to determine whether the user is still engaged.” Upworthy is even open sourcing its code for measuring Attention Minutes, so other sites can start building it into their metrics.

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