What is ‘sludge content’ and how content creators manage to retain users with video collages

MADRID, Feb. 9 (Portaltic/EP) –

Social networks like TikTok and instagram They show, with increasing frequency, videos that use what is known as ‘sludge content’, a video format that divides the platform’s interface like a collage with two or more contents and is used to retain viewers. users in front of the screen, without scrolling.

He ‘sludge content’ (translated as ‘sludge content’) is a formula from the field of marketing used by content creators that consists of putting together several unrelated video clips so that audiences can view them in one go.

This type of collage is, in essence, a video made up of several videos at the same time, where there is always one main one, which is the one that has the most relevance and receives the most attention from users. This introduces a message or a verbal narrative, such as a scene from a movie where there is dialogue or an interview.

On the contrary, the video or videos that accompany it do not introduce this type of language or any spoken message and They tend to be attractive and relatively repetitive videos. This is the case, for example, of a sequence from a video game like Super Mario Bros. or Tom Rider, which collects rewards during a journey.

Thanks to this format, increasingly common on platforms like Instagram and TikTok due to tools like Duet, these videos keep the user’s view on the screen itself, without the need to scroll to view other content. This is because if you get bored with the main video, You can direct your attention to the accompanying secondary videos, as they explain in an article in Scientific American.


Several social media analysts and experts agree that ‘sludge content’ can be something as pleasant as it is confusing and addictive, because too much visual stimulation can be harmful. the ability of users to focus on any task.

However, these videos respond to the needs of content creators, who want as many users as possible to view their videos for as long as possible, according to this publication.

Although there is no scientific evidence on the negative effects that this practice may have, some researchers maintain that it can have an impact on the cognitive development of young people, since watching ‘sludge content’ can create the need to a constant stimulation to keep their attention on what they consume.

Likewise, they point out that these videos can encourage normative dissociation, that is, consumers concentrate all their energy on what their screen shows and lose awareness of the environment around them.

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