Long form content is a term used to describe articles that are written and posted on the Internet. It is mostly applied to social media websites to differentiate between short form content (or microblogging).
This is all under the heading of blogging, which came to prominence with the introduction of Web 2.0. Sites such as Wordpress allowed anyone to create content and post it online. The templates it offered allowed content creators, whether professional or not, to have their own blogs.
Most base this upon the number of words in an article. Some feel it is in the range of news articles, around 700 words. Others believe that a post needs to reach 1,200.
Whatever the exact criteria people use, it is something that will take a few minutes to read.
Examples of sites that carry this:
We also include traditional news sites since they have articles that fit into this category.
Social Media Convergence
One of the features that was built under Twitter Blue is that people can exceed the traditional character length. This means those making the monthly payment can add long form content to their profiles. It introduces a new dynamic to the platform.
Blogging was later expanded to include vlogs (short for video blogs). As technology advanced, making video creation less expensive and more user friendly, the amount of video created exploded. The social media sites go into the act especially YouTube. This because the main video hosting site, still ranking #2 in terms of daily visitors.
For years there was little distinction in the world of video. Nobody really took the time to break things down because most videos were a few minutes in length to hours. They were all long form content.
This changed with TikTok. That platform introduced the idea of shorts. These were videos that were under 90 seconds. Some were filmed that way with very short duration while others are crops of longer videos. Either way, with people appearing to have short attention spans, shorts became very popular.
It led to YouTube and Twitter incorporating them into what they do. This is how things spread. So now, in video there are shorts and long form content with traditional length video.
The Value Of Data
Social media platforms have become data gold mines. The corporations behind these companies found that the data can be run through algorithms and present a wealth of knowledge. Much of this is used for targeted advertising. Facebook and Google rake in hundreds of billions of dollars through this mechanism.
We are also seeing that, as artificial intelligence rises, the data is crucial for feeding the machine learning engine. Since activity on social media sites is tracked in real time, the models have a lot of data input from what to draw conclusions.
Long form content is helping with natural language learning. We are getting to the point where many fear the technology will be able to write the content as well as humans. Many scientific and medial papers are already done in this manner. Advancements in applications such as ChatGPT is only accelerating this.
Since the data is housed on centralized servers, many fear that concentration of AI power. Here is where people are starting to advocate for decentralized systems. This will place data in the hands of the public domain where anyone can utilize it.
The other concern is the amount of long form content that will end up being created by computers. If the software advances to the point where it can process information as well as humans, what need is there for humans writing in most things? There might be some niche cases where human creativity cannot be duplicated.
Long form content is still used as a means for income generation by content creators. This is something, in addition to video, that is used by some to earn a living.
The problem is Web 2.0 platforms take most of the revenue. Only a select few who have the larger followings are able to truly monetize their work. Patreon and other subscription sites offer some hope to these individuals.
Tokenization that comes with Web 3.0 could be a major breakthrough. There is a system where users can post their content and get rewards based upon the votes received. Each vote carries a voting weight based upon the coins or tokens staked. This allows for the payout in that particular cryptocurrency.
Here is where we could see a massive shift in our long form content, written or video, is compensated.