By 2014, there were over one billion websites on the World Wide Web. It can be argued that all of those websites are used for entertainment of some sort (if you find super dry research entertaining). But the truth is that Americans are spending an insane amount of time on entertainment websites, from social media to video sites and more. So why do we love them so much?
We don’t really need to use our brains to browse websites like Facebook or YouTube. It’s a great way to “take a load off” at the end of the day, or to just kill some time. Depending on your tastes, entertainment sites like YouTube, Tumblr, and Netflix let you find what you want to find and spend a lot of time enjoying it. Entertainment sites with specific markets keep popping up as well, making it easy for us to just lose ourselves in a virtual world.
It’s a Community
Many people are finding that it’s super easy to make connections online; maybe easier than it is to make connections in person. Why? Because online you have a specific purpose for visiting a site. You like what you find on that site, and you want to engage with it. There are dating sites specifically for Christians, cowboys, the “over 50” crowd, etc. There are entertainment websites that cater to a specific kind of humor, like The Onion or Funny or Die. Basically, all you have to do is say, “I like this,” and there are going to be about a thousand other people who are also saying the exact same thing online.
For the cost of your monthly Internet subscription, you can find free or incredibly cheap entertainment. While going out to the movies, seeing a show, going skating, or finding any other form of entertainment in the “real world” requires time, money, and effort, you can find any form of entertainment online for way less. You can even do all of your shopping from the comfort of your own home for cheaper than going to the store down the street! Books, movies, TV, and just about any form of traditional entertainment is cheaper online.
If you have a smartphone or a computer with Internet, you essentially have everything you need to keep yourself entertained. You don’t have to ride the bus and stare out the window anymore; you can read, watch TV, or play a game while you get where you’re going. Wondering what’s going on in the world? You can pull up any site from your phone or computer. People in previous generations must have been so bored all the time! It’s so easy now to connect with people over whatever form of entertainment we enjoy most; writing, video, music, etc. Everything is accessible if you have Internet!
Our love of entertainment websites has taken over our love of in-person entertainment, for sure. More people would prefer to watch a show or listen to music in the comfort of their own home rather than go out and see it performed in person. While there may be some concerns with that, it’s definitely the wave of the future. Welcome to the Internet Age!
Everyone has their own tastes when it comes to entertainment and what makes them tick. The same goes for everyone’s choice in the websites they frequent. We all have the sites we rely on every day, like Google, Facebook, and others to get most of our daily entertainment and information. But for some folks, entertainment is taken to a whole new level by some of the sites on this list.
If you’re a book lover, this site is going to keep you up at night. When you read a book, fall in love with the characters, and spend weeks trying to get over that “book hangover” feeling, you might start seeking out other people who are experiencing the same thing. This is why FanFiction.net is such a hit. People from all over the world keep the story going, or rewrite stories with the same characters. Just think; all of your favorite characters with new or different adventures to experience! The story doesn’t have to end.
While this site definitely caters to the younger demographic, and those who are more “tech savvy,” a lot of pop culture references and “memes” have been generated from this online platform. People essentially “reblog” images, or discuss popular art, books, TV shows, etc. and create “memes” that reflect how they are feeling. It’s a highly visual platform and one that not everyone likes. But those who do like it tend to spend a lot of time on it.
The obsession many people have with Pinterest was very, very unexpected – even by the people who created it. Millions of pins are saved everyday, which is essentially thumbnail images that link to saved content. Even though people have been able to bookmark or save links for years, the success of Pinterest comes because of its unique, pinboard-like feel. People can save images they like, or content they like, share it, use the content, attract followers, etc. Many people on Pinterest follow complete strangers based on their pins they’ve saved on their boards. It’s definitely a community site.
This website is definitely an acquired taste. It’s simple, a forum-based design is overwhelming for newcomers, but people who use it frequently love it because you can find pretty much anything on here. From satire and jokes, to support, advice, and education on a variety of topics, people use Reddit to essentially stumble upon anything. You never know what you’re going to get on the site, which is why so many people visit it daily.
This website is devoted entirely to “viral images”- the ones people most often make funny memes out of. People can download their own images to Imgur, or spend hours browsing various ones. People who use Imgur often usually have their own folders they save for personal use, or they create memes to share with their friends and the online community. It’s a fairly simple website, with not much to see other than the pictures. It’s gaining popularity especially for younger people, and the images vary from funny to scary to beautiful.
It seems like most of us waste more time online than we waste anywhere else, including watching television. For that reason alone, more and more marketers are trying to create entertainment websites that encourage people to engage with their products and services like never before. But they’re having a hard time competing with these ten “tried and true” sites that so many people love and use daily.
This is a big “duh” moment, but this is the website that people spend the most time on these days. While technically it’s a social media site, there are tons of entertainment uses; games, videos, chat, etc. Facebook has become the place where you can “do it all,” and doesn’t show any signs of giving up its place at #1.
If you like to get sucked into watching hours and hours of cute cat videos, YouTube is the site to visit. You can learn how to change your oil, learn how to cook a soufflé, and watch people make dumb mistakes all in the space of a few minutes. Better yet, you can upload your own videos to share with people, making it truly engaging for both visitors and users.
Netflix has given the word “binge” a whole new meaning. If you have a few hours (or weeks) to spare, you can pick from thousands of movies and TV shows. People have started using the phrase “Netflix and chill” as a relevant option for the question, “What are you doing tonight?” and subscribers consume more content on Netflix’s website than anywhere else.
4.Funny or Die
This comedic website features videos, articles, jokes, and tons of celebrity and comedian cameos. They have a unique grading system that keeps people coming back for more. After 1,000 views, if a video or any content doesn’t have at least 20% “likes,” it is removed from the feed. It’s a fun way to spend a few hours, and people love all of the famous faces.
This website is designed for people who love movies and TV shows, but don’t like wasting time with the bad ones. Rotten Tomatoes lets users score a movie or show based on how “rotten” it is. The higher the tomato percentage, the better the show is (counterintuitive, we know), but the combination of regular users like us and the fancy critics make this site a great entertainment resource.
While Pandora is often considered the pioneer of the music streaming online service, Spotify has taken their service to a whole new level. Their website and app have provided so many hours of unique musical entertainment, offering different “playlists,” created based on mood, location, themes, etc. It’s a great way to find just the right music, and Spotify’s website actually lets you explore the artists, lyrics, videos, etc.
While entertainment takes many forms, these six websites have really made themselves pioneers of the industry. People choose to spend their time on these sites when they have millions of other sites to choose from. Obviously, they’re all doing something right!