I write a blog. I have a bunch of posts going back several years. Very few of them have any images associated with them. I always thought it kind of silly to have to throw in a little square picture along with your blog post next to the title to help get readers interested in reading it. It’s a post. It’s words. You read it. Do you get it? Now most blog themes and websites are highly image based. And it is not easy getting pictures on the cheap. However, when I needed a cash in hands image, I had another alternative than forking over a lot of cash to get a picture of cash exchanging hands. I think it kind of funny that it was when I needed a picture of money exchanging hands for a blog post was when I found a better way to get images for my blog.
Now I can actually take some time out of my day and go back and attach feature images to every one of my blog posts. No, I am not happy with it being a necessity to improve the reading of posts, but it is just how the Internet works. You know how it is. You go to a blog and see recommendations for different articles based on the one you landed at. You usually get to a blog post through a search engine. If you read it and like it, then there are other recommended posts for you to look at, and each title has a corresponding image.
I guess the reasoning behind it is that people have an idea in their head of what they are looking to read. Then they do a quick scan of images that are iconic of what they are seeking to read about. Then they see an image they like. After that, they scan the title to see if it matches what they are seeking. Then there is usually a short blurb that is part of the first paragraph of the article, or a description of its contents. Yes, I think it kind of sad that even avid readers scan images first now, but that is how the Internet is training viewers.