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The shape of what we share: measuring design features of content moving around the web

Millions of URLs a day go through the Embedly API, which provides a breadth of data to measure characteristics of embeds and their parent sites. How big are the images? How long are the descriptions and titles?

John over at the Embedly Data Analytics Research Lab took a sample of embeds from our logs and measured the distributions over a few features. These are URLs being shared on blogs, apps, wherever Embedly is integrated. Here’s what we found.

Results

The average title length is between 40 and 60 characters. There is also a peak just above 100. One reason for this peak could be that sites impose a cut off for their titles.

Title Graph

Next we’ll look at images from the URLs, in particular their dimensions. You can see two peaks for the image width- one at around 600px and another just above 400px- and two peaks for the image height- one at around 350px and another around 600px. Note that Instagram images are 612x612, hence the spike at that bin. That the second peak for height is a bit lower than width makes sense given that common aspect ratios have larger widths than heights. 

Image WidthImage Height

Descriptions have a much wider distribution with a couple peaks around 100 and 250.  

Description Length

The provider length peaks just above 5 characters. A provider is the name of the URL source, for example, any of these sites.  It is generally the domain name. 

Provider Length

Maxwidth and maxheight are a bit different from the other...

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