Whether it features an eye-roll, a mic drop, a silly dance, or a funny facial expression, looped videos have won the internet over. But what is it about short repetitive clips that make them so mesmerizing?
You’ve probably seen a few GIFs on the internet. Some use them to express emotions or thoughts while some use them to provide information. Regardless of what they are about, the virtual audience just can’t get enough of looping videos. These hit the trending list so hard that content creators and even businesses are taking advantage of its popularity, adding them to their websites, social media accounts, and even in manuals and emails.
But why are they so effective?
Repetition Helps Us Learn
As a child, you probably remember how your mom or dad would say things repeatedly to you.
“Can you say ‘mama’? Ma-ma. Ma-ma.”
By hearing a word mentioned several times, we develop a sense of familiarity and we learn to say it even when no one is coaching us to say it.
The same effect happens with looped videos. By watching a clip playing in a loop, we learn how something works, we recognize a name or brand, we get familiar with a song. It moves information from the conscious to the subconscious.
Think of it as practicing a skill. When you rehearse something several times, it becomes easier for you to do it. When a video plays over and over again, you get several opportunities to absorb the information until it becomes a mainstay in your knowledge base.
Satisfies our Expectations
When we hear a few notes of a familiar song, you can already imagine the notes that come next. And when our imagination is confirmed, it gives a sense of excitement even though we were already expecting that.
In visual repetitions, the video shows us immediately what happens next. And even if we already witnessed the shift of events, we still get surprised. Even though we already know what is going to happen next, we still anticipate the next scene or image. That is because it confirms that we are right.
If you watch a really good movie, you would not mind watching it over and over again. And that is over an hour long. The same is true with looped videos. Except that the satisfaction you feel comes faster because you only have to through a few seconds of video to achieve that.
Gets to the Point – Fast!
The average attention span of human beings is diminishing as a result of the digital age. You only have six to eight seconds to capture the audience’s interest or you lose them forever. This is one reason why looped videos are so popular.
Some viewers can easily get bored when an introduction takes too long. Because a short clip only involves a few seconds of visuals, the creator needs to be straightforward. No beating around the bush. No fluff. No tasteless appetizers. Right from the moment it plays, you immediately get served the main dish.
People often just scroll through their feeds, scanning several posts and stopping for a few seconds for those that catch their eye. If a video can get its point across within the time that a person swipes the screen, there is a higher chance that they will want to view it again.
Hooks to Memory
It is a lot easier for our brains to remember images than names, words, or numbers. Micro-videos have fewer frames so it takes less effort to keep a mental note of them. The same way we associate trinkets, concert tickets, or candy wrappers with special moments in our lives, we associate images with details that we have to memorize.
Schools have taken advantage of looped videos because they help students learn and remember their lessons better. Companies use them for training videos, too, because such videos speed up the onboarding process.
When something is being explained, whether it is a set of instructions or a process, looped videos make it easier by giving you the whole picture in just a few seconds. Plus, it repeats automatically even when you don’t hit the replay button.
It’s the same theory with a song. If you play one in a loop, you will soon memorize the lyrics. Then, later on, you will know when the beat drops and when a drumroll is about to happen. And even when you aren’t listening to it anymore, you find yourself humming the tune. Looped videos have a similar effect.
Shifts Focus and Attention
When watching a video, we often just focus on one thing at a time. With a looped video, you get to shift your focus and attention to all the aspects of the clip in a shorter amount of time. The first time it plays, you listen to the voice or read the caption, then when it repeats, you probably would shift your focus on the images, then the music, then the background.
Because your focus is shifted several times, you stay engaged and interested. As the video repeats itself several times over, you notice more details, even the smallest ones. It may even stimulate new sensations, ideas, or feelings that you didn’t experience the first time the clip played.
The power of looped videos is so versatile that you can add them to almost any digital platform, for a variety of purposes, and in almost all types of industries. Its ability to captivate and engage a wide range of audiences has been proven. Although some people think that they are a product of the millennial generation, you’d be surprised to know that looped visuals have been around for decades.
As we move into a future where people are dependent on several devices, juggling several tasks at a time, looped videos fit in perfectly. Create your own with an online video editor like Clipchamp and use them to share insights, valuable information about your products or services, or to just make people smile or laugh. Whatever your purpose, use their power to your advantage.