- At the CODE/Media conference, Ev Williams—a founder of Medium, Blogger, and Twitter—spoke about the need to expand metrics for online companies.
- According to Williams, there is too much focus on the number of users or monthly active users, which he says can be a misleading or paint an incomplete picture of a company's success.
- Williams suggests that more emphasis be put on the time spent on sites rather than number of users. He also pointed out that advertisers prefer the time spent metric as well.
Publishers already seem to be on board with Williams' statements. According to a recent study, 80% prefer time spent metrics when selling ads. Williams also attributes Twitter's curbed stock price on Wall Street to people placing too much emphasis on user growth. “I think Wall Street does not have a sophisticated understanding of what creates value in this world," he said during the conference.
However, user numbers shouldn't be fully discounted, as it is still a good indicator of eyeballs on a site, he said. But the 'time spent' metric signifies real engagement—not just a clickthrough—which is what should be most attractive to marketers.