Economics of the Web: IE9 Users that Pin Huffington Post Spend 49% more Time on Site

Economics of the Web: IE9 Users that Pin Huffington Post Spend 49% more Time on Site

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We’ve previously covered our philosophy of putting sites at the center. This starts with the point of view that users go to their browser to visit sites, not for the browser itself. The browser should give sites the tools to build more engaging user experiences without getting in the way.

This has also informed the approach we have taken with partners. We believe that successfully delivering on this philosophy should ultimately translate into measurable results. Throughout the IE9 journey, we have worked deeply with partners to understand how they think about their experiences and which metrics they use to drive their business.


Here are some of the results that we have seen from partners that we have profiled recently: huffposthi53

  • Huffington Post built a news experience taking advantage of Pinned Sites in IE9. Overall, they saw an 11% increase in page views and 14% lower bounce rate. More interesting they found that users that users that pinned HuffPost spent 49% more time on the site.
  • hi5 built a social gaming experience taking advantage of Jump Lists in IE9. Overall, Hi5 saw that pinned users viewed 15% more pages. These users also became much more active responding to 3x more social requests (like new friends, game invites, messages).

We think of these results as early, but positive, indicators of whether we are delivering on the philosophy.


As Internet Explorer 9 has reached Release Candidate and is beginning to see increased uptake, now is a good time to drill deeper. We will share a series of blogs that focus on the economics of the web and the impact that partners are seeing with IE9, HTML5 and related technologies. We will also share best practices and code samples across sites that take different approaches.

There are three main areas that we will focus in upcoming blogs:

  • Value per User – Create compelling site experiences that build repeat engagement and loyalty
  • Number of Users – Bring new customers to your experiences through promotion, offers, and discovery of features
  • Cost to Implement – Be easy to design, build, test, and sustain on a stable platform

We welcome your feedback and hearing about your own experiences. Learn about Pinned Sites with IE9 here.

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  • @Ziad Consistancy is key, thank you for the response. Either way, I would never switch to FireFox 4. It is still in beta ... beta 11. What is this, Duke Nukem? I love GPU accelled javascript and the nice UI of IE 9. FireFox seems to fail in the UI area.

  • @jjackson - Good point regarding HuffPost. The approach we took was to try to have multiple metrics to better understand behavior. We are just starting out this exploration into the metrics behind sites and what works and doesn't work, so keep the feedback and thought coming

  • @hdw - What are the specific sites that you are seeing issues? We are actively reaching out to sites that have been reported through Connect or "Send Feedback". So please report any issues.

  • @James - Thanks for your question. It ultimately comes down to the approach you want to take with the specifications that are emerging and unstable. We have a very clear POV that we articulated here:

    We believe that this gives developers the best of both worlds 1) A reliable platform to innovate and build sites on and be confident that your site will continue to work and 2) Through HTML5 Labs we are prototyping and experimenting with rapidly changing specifications in a way that is faster than doing it through browsers.

    There is also plenty of external commentary.

    James keep the questions and feedback coming. Also, feel free to ping me on Twitter if I miss your questions on the blog @ziadseattle.

  • As another note, if they're using Google Analytics to get these results then I have it blocked through IE9's tracking protection :)

  • I pinned HuffPo and I ended up leaving it open in the background a lot, like I do with most other applications on my computer, checking the window occasionally for updates. I did end up spending a lot more time on it than usual, but unless their stats are tracking actual time I spent reading the site and not just time the site was open then the stats are going to be skewed.

  • @Ziad I know this is off topic but can I have an explanation? This seems somewhat terrible if it is the truth...

  • hdw
    25 Posts

    This is great and all but you guys really need to push sites to support IE .May be a webapp marketplace would tempt them

  • @adriann - Great question. As mentioned we look at the data as early, but positive indicators. There is likely a mix of 1) Pinned Sites being an effective way for a site to engage their best users and 2) capabilities like notifications driving better engagement and pulling people back into the experience.

    We are working with partner sites to get deeper behind the data in future blogs and will share more insights. In general, having real metrics and having discussions about what works and doesn't work is something we hope will be helpful and interesting.

  • adriann
    3 Posts

    An alternative hypothesis is that the customers who already spent 49% more time than other customers or were 3x more social were the most likely to pin a website.  Was this considered in the study?  Does the data support that there was more time spent overall by the average customer who pinned the site compared to before the option was there?