We’re proud to announce the launch of a new feature on Slate: infinite scroll. Some of you may have seen glimpses of it already, as we’ve been rolling it out to a percentage of readers over the past weeks in order to kick its infinite tires. The feedback, we’re relieved to say, has been great. And as of Thursday night, infinite scroll has now been turned on for everybody reading Slate on desktop (stay tuned for mobile).
What is infinite scroll?
Starting now, any Slate article you open will display on a single page, and when you reach the end of that story, another story will appear below it. Infinite scroll makes it easier to read the piece you’re on, and then makes it easier to read the next. No more clicking to “Page 2.” No more having to search around for what else to read. (The stream is determined by an algorithm that highlights a mix of related and featured content.)
The look of our pages has also changed for the better. Since you can continue to scroll and read to your heart’s content, we’ve removed the suggested links that formerly populated the right rail of an article page. The result is a cleaner page, with more white space, that is easier on the eyes.
Simply put, we’ve held on to pagination long past its Internet sell-by date. We did so for business reasons: Pagination increased ad views, and we’re a publication that relies on advertising revenue. Our hope is that infinite scroll will increase the number of stories a reader goes through in one sitting, making up for lost ad views, while vastly improving reader experience—a happy reader stays longer on the site. So far, our testing has borne this out.
Glad you asked! We’re going to keep improving the infinite scroll experience. Near-term goals are bringing it to mobile, and expanding the functionality of the “next story” box that appears when you approach the end of an article. If you have great ideas or any other feedback, let us know what you think at email@example.com.
In short, we’re simply thrilled to launch a product that both makes the site much more pleasurable to read and supports our business. So scroll away! And enjoy.