What is 'sludge content' and why is it successful on social networks?

What is sludge content? This term – which if translated directly from English would be “mud content”, although it refers to mixing content – is known as video publications on social networks that are shown with the screen divided into two or more fragments. In each part, a video is shown that has nothing to do with the other.

It is possible that you have seen these types of publications on social networks such as TikTok or on Instagram Reels and did not know that they are called that, or even that they are a trend on both platforms, but you should know that, possibly, you see them more and more. . And there is a reason why they have become popular.

sludge content

The objective of this type of content is to capture the user's attention and increase their retention on the platform. And what if they succeed: the user stays watching the first video and, later, once he has understood its meaning or gets bored of it, he goes on to watch the second. By not understanding why both moving images are offered together, it takes longer to process them and therefore increases viewing time.

This is positive for the content creator who published it, since the social network's algorithm interprets that, as users spend more time viewing it, it is an interesting publication. Consequently, you can start showing it to more users or in more prominent positions. That is, it can go viral.

This is why they are increasingly used and even brands have decided to opt for publications of this type, which attract the user's attention. Creating “sludge” content is as simple as using the remix function on social networks such as Instagram and TikTok or using fragments of a video already published on YouTube. However, it is necessary to take into account the copyright of the videos to be shared, especially if the publication is to be made to a corporate account.

Although sludge content may be a little disorienting at first, it is very easy to consume content. There are those who consider that it can even be relaxing, in a similar way to ASMR, the publications that generate noises that are sensorially pleasant and produce pleasure. That is also why the user spends more time watching both videos progress without any relation to each other.

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