It seems that it’s getting harder and harder to find articles that don’t include a number in their titles. For some reason, articles that feature lists of just about anything, have gained much popularity, according to Niccolo Brogi, a writer from the Medium, an online publishing platform.
When one turns to Google and searches for “15 ways”, a list of results show up, from 15 Ways to Take Care of Plants to 15 Ways to Conserve Electricity, and a whole lot more. These brief articles in number format known, as “listicles” or articles written as lists, have flooded the internet these days, and here are some reasons why people love them.
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1. Listicles are great for a quick read
Listicles can be easily scanned, to read only what is good for the reader. The reader doesn’t even need to read every single paragraph, as the topics are clear from the beginning, with each header also categorized to inform the reader of what each item is about.
Traditional articles would have no headers to identify, categorize, or separate ideas, and need to be read as a whole piece. Skipping information may also lead to a misunderstanding of the whole article.
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2. You can stop and resume reading anytime
When are reader starts a listicle, the reader does not have to commit to finishing it, according to Brogi. You can stop reading at any time, with intentions to continue later at a specific number or not at all, with the gist already being conveyed at the start or halfway through.
On the other hand, traditional articles would usually require reading from start to end, without interruption, as remembering where the reader has stopped can be more difficult without numbers or markers normally found in listicles.
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3. Listicles are straight to the point
As listicles are numbered, it’s easier for readers to know exactly what they are reading, and to know whether they are halfway through the article or not. When reading an article about “The 12 Healthiest Vegetables,” readers are aware they are being given 12 vegetables, not anything more or less.
Some traditional articles make keeping track harder, if it says that the article is merely a 3-minute read, some others may read faster or slower. Indicators for finishing the articles during the read are also just not as clear.
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4. Listicles are easier to write
Some claim that listicles date back or became popularized after the 10 commandments were written, but this cannot be verified. More than anything, listicles are popular because they are easier to write. The formula of taking a number of facts, and adding details and fluff, are repeated a number of times to create an article.
Listicles are more mechanical compared to traditional articles, which need more thought into each and every bit, with the writer needing to know how to get the point across while maintaining consistency throughout the article, which also would need more focus and a typical longer amount of time.
Whether a reader reads listicles or traditional articles does not matter, as it all boils down to preference. Nevertheless, it’s really more fun and does not necessarily require much brain space or thinking when reading or writing listicles.