Need for speed: Watching sped-up content is a new social trend

Most people watch on the default speed, but data shows that more people are choosing to watch videos that play a little bit faster.

“I feel the need… the need for speed.” Like Maverick and Goose in Top Gun, internet users are increasingly looking for speed on social networks.

Lack of time or just impatience, whatever the reason, watching videos or even listening to audio content in a faster playback mode is becoming more and more important for users.

Have you ever watched a video on fast forward on YouTube?

According to a report conducted by the video platform, users who have tested this option have already used it in more than 85% of cases.

The American giant analyzed the content in June 2022, the data of which was revealed in a report published on the official blog.

“YouTube currently supports watching at 0.25x, 0.5x, 0.75x, Normal (the default), 1.25x, 1.5x, 1.75x, and 2x.

As you can imagine, most people watch on the default speed, but we found that when people use this feature, the vast majority of the time they choose to watch a little bit faster — in fact, this feature was used to speed up content more than 85 percent of the time,” the post indicates.

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Among the most used speeds, in addition to the default normal speed that remains most commonly used, YouTube reported that 1.5x speed was the most often chosen, followed by 2x and 1.25x.

The platform also allows users to customize the settings to choose the most appropriate frame rate for each individual. Among these cases, YouTube said that 1.1x speed was the most used.

Differences in speed throughout the day

Depending on the time of day, users don’t necessarily choose the same playback speed, YouTube reported.

As the day goes on, users most often turn to faster playback speeds: “In the morning, starting at 6 a.m., playback speeds were not used as often, but users started playing with faster viewing as their day progressed.

There was a slight drop in usage at dinner time, between 7 and 8 p.m., before picking up again later in the evening. In terms of 1.5x usage, users watching videos on 1.5x peaked between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. in their respective time zones,” YouTube said.

Differences in speed between TV and computer

In addition to observing differences in consumption within a single day, YouTube also pointed out disparities by the device used.

Viewers tend to watch videos at normal speed the longest on their Smart TV or video game consoles, followed by 1.25x speed.

Internet users who go to the website prefer to spend more time watching videos at 2x. On the mobile app, users are more likely to choose 1.5x, both on iOS and Android.

The taste for this new practice has even reached social networks. Twitter announced in February 2022 to launch new playback speeds for both video and audio.

A function that Netflix started offering back in 2020. Since then, WhatsApp has also improved its playback options by offering different speeds.

In March 2022, the messaging platform revealed that 7 billion voice messages were sent on average every day on the app.

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