Time It Takes Users to Read the ‘Fine Print’ of Popular Online Applications

Published on 27th July 2021

• WhatsApp is the online application people are most curious about the legal terms and policies for users with an average 29,640 global online searches per month for the communication platforms key legal user agreements

• Discord (15,750) and Instagram (13,400) are among the other online applications which receive over 10,000 online searches a month from potential/existing users keen to check and understand their legal terms and policies for users

• Shopify is the online application whose ‘terms of service’ take the longest amount of time to read at an approximate 76.7 minutes, followed by Discord (54.5 minutes)

• PayPal is the online application whose ‘privacy policy’ takes the most amount of time to read at an approximate 53.3 minutes, followed by WhatsApp (52.5 minutes)

The Research: 

In this day and age, it is very hard not to have a digital presence. Most of us are undoubtedly active on one or more social media, communication and/or e-commerce platforms. Despite this, many of us are still curious and/or concerned about what we have to legally agree to before being able to use a given online application. 

Interested in personal data, Reboot Online Marketing utilised online analytics tool Ahrefs to discover which online applications individuals are most curious about the legal terms and policies for users.

The Results: 

Reboot Online Marketing found that WhatsApp is in number one spot as there is an average 29,640 global online searches per month for the popular communication platforms legal terms and policies for users. 

In second position is Discord with an average 15,750 worldwide online searches a month from those keen to discover and understand the digital distribution platforms legal terms and policies for users.  

Instagram is in third place, as there are an average 13,400 global online searches each month for the photo and video sharing giants’ legal terms and policies for users. 

Facebook (9,600) and YouTube (9,300) are among the other online applications which receive more than 9,000 worldwide online searches every month from internet users wanting to check and digest each of their respective legal terms and policies for users, consequently ranking fourth and fifth. 

At the other end in 10th position is Amazon, the e-commerce juggernaut attains 1,500 global online searches a month from those consumers interested in their key legal terms and policies for users. 

Additionally, from the online applications that were identified as the ten individuals are most curious about the legal terms and policies for users, Reboot Online Marketing also sought to find out how long it takes to read the respective ‘terms of service’ as well as ‘privacy policy’ of each of the online applications in the top ten. 

Reboot Online Marketing found that it takes the most amount of time to read Shopify’s terms of service at an approximate 76.7 minutes. Contrastingly, it takes the least amount of time to read Instagram’s terms of service at an estimated 25.7 minutes. 

Moreover, it takes the most amount of time to read PayPal’s privacy policy at an approximate 53.3 minutes. On the other hand, it takes the least amount of time to read Shopify’s privacy policy at an estimated 12.4 minutes. 

When combining the time needed to read both sets of key legal user agreements, PayPal comes out on top as it would take an approximate 92 minutes to read their terms of service and privacy policy in one sitting. 

Shopify (89.1 minutes), Amazon (82.7 minutes), WhatsApp (81.4 minutes) and Twitter (81.1 minutes) are among the other online applications where potential/existing users would take more than an estimated 80 minutes to read their respective terms of service and privacy policy one after the other.

Methodology for the Research: 

1) Reboot Online Marketing wanted to find out the online applications which internet users are most curious about the legal terms and policies for users. 

2) To achieve this, Reboot Online Marketing identified ‘terms of service’ and ‘privacy policy’ as the two main legal user agreements every online application has. 

3) Reboot Online Marketing then inserted the key online search term ‘terms of service’ into the database of online analytics tool Ahrefs to establish which online applications people are most searching online to read the terms of service for. 

4) The same process as stage three was repeated for the key online search term ‘privacy policy’. 

5) Once the online search volumes for the top-ranking online application names/companies in relation to the key online searches ‘terms of service’ and ‘privacy policy’ were established, the search volume figures for both were combined where applicable (i.e. those online applications which appeared on both lists etc.)

6) The combined search volumes from the two key online searches were put under the umbrella name of ‘average global online searches for key legal user agreements’.

7) The online applications were then ranked from highest to lowest based on the final average figure of each analysed online application had for online searches for key legal user agreements. 

8) Reboot Online Marketing did account for the different ways in which people search for the same thing, in the case of ‘terms of service’, Reboot Online Marketing considered alternative online searches such as ‘terms of use’ and ‘terms and conditions’ (as they have the same online search intent as ‘terms of service’). 

9) For the second part of the research, Reboot Online Marketing took all the included words in the ‘terms of service’ and ‘privacy policy’ section from the official website of each of the online applications in the top ten and used this tool to estimate how long it would take a potential/existing user to read their respective ‘terms of service’ and ‘privacy policy’ section – an estimated reading time in terms of minutes was provided for both legal sections/categories for each of the top ten online applications. 

10) The reading time estimates for each of the key legal user agreements are made under the assumption that an individual can read 30 words per minute (which is established as the average reading speed) and all time/minutes figures provided in the research for each of the top 10 online applications key legal user agreements are estimates/approximates. 

Courtesy: Reboot


This article has been read 212 times
COMMENTS