Twitter Sundays, Facebook Wednesdays, and Reddit Fridays: When People Read on the Internet

The times of day when people read tend to follow consistent patterns each week. Here’s the typical ebb and flow of time spent reading on Medium.

The line represents the time spent reading during each hour as a percent of total time spent reading during the week.

It’s what you might expect — reading activity peaks during the afternoon and night, with more activity on weekdays than weekends.

But the reading behavior we observe on Medium also gives us a glimpse into how people use the rest of the internet. We took a look at some popular referrers to see how they compare. While they’re often similar, it’s where they diverge from average that’s most interesting. Each referrer’s weekly pattern reveals the sweet spots when people are more likely browsing those sites for great stuff to read. Here’s what we found.

Together, the referrers suggest how people tend to shift from site to site throughout the week. While it still doesn’t matter when you publish, you might share your posts at different times and places depending on your audience. Twitter is more popular earlier in the week, while Facebook is more popular mid-week. LinkedIn and Gmail rise in the early mornings and after-lunch hours, whereas Reddit and Hacker News peak after dinner. Google search and content aggregators are more consistent throughout the week. And on the weekend, we’ve got you covered on the Medium app.

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