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Data: Chartbeat; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New data from Chartbeat provided to Axios finds that working from home has pushed people to scroll deeper through article pages on desktop, and slightly less through articles on mobile.

Why it matters: The change, which coincides with the start of the pandemic, could suggest that users prefer to engage more with article pages when they have the opportunity to read them on a bigger screen.

Several factors could be influencing the trend, says Bonnie Ray, head of data science at Chartbeat, an analytics company.

  1. Desktop usage has spiked overall as people spend more time at home. Pre-pandemic article reading habits on mobile may have shifted to desktop.
  2. Articles are encountered differently on desktop versus mobile. Ray found the portion of article views from search with no scrolling has gone down significantly over time, but hasn't changed on social. A higher percentage of search traffic versus social occurs on desktop, so "it could be that articles we seek out via search are more relevant to us versus ones served up to us on social," Ray says.
  3. Window heights: Desktop scrolling may have increased more relative to mobile because window heights on desktop have changed very little over the past year, hovering at ~780 pixels, while window heights on mobile have increased from ~580 to 650 pixels.

Between the lines: The trend mostly holds true for all but the smallest of websites.

  • A page view with no scrolling means that the viewer never scrolled "below the fold" on a website, or below the typical height of a desktop browser — about 780 pixels.
  • Scroll depth has stayed the same for landing pages on desktop, but has decreased over time for landing pages on mobile.
  • In North America, the percentage of people who do not scroll "below the fold," on article pages has decreased significantly during the pandemic from 34% to 25% across both mobile and desktop.

Scrolling behavior mirrors overall desktop and mobile trends over time, with new visitors tending to scroll slightly deeper than returning or loyal visitors.   

The bottom line: On social media, users often jokingly complain about spending more time "doomscrolling," or absorbing dystopian news while scrolling through their phones.

  • The Chartbeat analysis suggests that while we like to joke about "doomscrolling," we are in fact scrolling deeper through articles, at least on desktop, than we were before.

Methodology: The data from a sample of 300 global sites of all sizes that opt-in to allow Chartbeat to aggregate and anonymize their data for research purposes.

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A massive search-and-rescue operation is underway after a portion of a 12-story condo building in Surfside, Florida, collapsed at approximately 1:30 a.m. Thursday, according to AP.

The latest: As many as 99 people are reported missing, Miami-Dade County's police director said, per the Miami Herald.

Biden strikes infrastructure deal with bipartisan group of senators

President Biden announced Thursday that he had agreed to a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure plan with a bipartisan group of ten senators, declaring: "We have a deal."

Why it matters: The agreement on the size and scope of an infrastructure package is a major achievement for Biden, who has long been a proponent of bipartisanship, but the compromise still faces serious hurdles in the House and Senate.

Pacific Northwest soon to be ground zero for record-shattering heat

Computer model projection showing the unusually strong heat dome over the Pacific Northwest on Sunday. (PivotalWeather).

A heat wave is bringing unprecedented high temperatures to the Pacific Northwest — a region of the country typically cooled by the ocean, rather than central air conditioning. The heat will begin Friday and last into early next week.

Why it matters: The heat wave will shatter monthly and all-time temperature records in the Pacific Northwest. Some of the records could break the old milestones by several degrees.