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Digital information overload

Eighty per cent of UK internet users claim they suffer from information overload online while 88% filter out irrelevant messaging, according to a study by Yahoo.

The study entitled 'Return on Attention' found that people feel they have to be far more selective to meet increased work and home life demands, which mean that their time is in short supply. Some 69% of respondents feel that life is busier today than it used to be, while 70% admitted to spending hours sifting through unwanted or irrelevant information.

The study found that with the surge in online traffic, many internet users are finding it increasingly difficult to filter the amount of information being delivered daily, with 62% believing that the strain is actually having a detrimental impact on their lives.

Yahoo said the trend has implications for the marketing industry, with 79% of consumers wanting something of value in return for paying attention to advertising, whether that is pure entertainment, a relevant message or access to learning something new.

Kristof Fahy, vice president of marketing for Yahoo Europe, said, "Successful marketers will develop innovative strategies to help people filter their already over stretched attention. It's no longer a case of just getting your voice heard, it's about having a dialogue with the individual while understanding and responding to their needs."

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