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Viewers give up on online video after two seconds of loading

Faster internet speeds mean that viewers expect faster loading times, with users starting to abandon videos after just two seconds of waiting.

Faster internet speeds mean that viewers expect faster loading times, with users starting to abandon videos after just two seconds of waiting.

Two seconds and you're leaving.(Credit: YouTube)

Research from Ramesh Sitaraman, a computer science professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has found that users begin abandoning an online video after only two seconds of loading time.

As reported by GigaOM, users are a little more forgiving on long videos, but by the 10-second mark over 50 per cent of all users will have given up for a short video, and around 25 per cent for long videos. And for the purposes of this study, short means less than 30 minutes, so we imagine that the drop would be even sharper on clips of one to five minutes.

The speed of a user's connection also influences the abandonment rate — people on mobile are far more patient than people on a DSL connection.

The academically inclined can grab a copy of the study by clicking here (PDF).

Graphs from the report showing the drop-off rate. (Credit: Ramesh Sitaraman)