The Internet is overwhelming. It’s simple as that. We’re bombarded with content and advertisements on pretty much every website we visit. Advertisers struggle to collect data on what will catch our eye and what will take us to their content. How old are we? Where do we live? What devices are we using to get to their page?

But one thing that has been overlooked often, among researchers is the ‘Why?’

Why are consumers more likely to engage with some content over others? What are the motivations behind consumers to seek out information?

research study done by AOL seeks to uncover that ‘why,’ and explores over 55,000 consumer interactions with online content to better understand their motivations. The research revealed that people around the world are engaging with digital content in eight different ways, which this research refers to as “content moments.” A content moment is comprised of four elements before, during, and after engagement: the motivations for initiating the content experience, the emotions felt during the experience, the outcomes of the content, and finally, the topic of the content.

These eight content moments are:

Inspire - Look for fresh ideas or trying something new

Be in the Know - Stay updated or find relevant ideas

Find - Seek answers or advice

Comfort - Seek support or insight

Connect - Learn something new or be part of a community

Feel Good - Improve mood or feel relaxed

Entertain - Look for an escape or a mental break

Update Socially - Stay updated or take a mental break

 Seeking gratification on the web

The eight moments are universal across the globe, and yet the fulfilment of each moment contains a world of nuance. Even as people share similar experiences, they seek out different kinds of content depending on the many moments that make up a particular day. From mundane events like jogging to life changing experiences like welcoming a new baby, these experiences can provoke a multitude of unique moments and content.

As it turns out, a majority of people hop online for inspiration-they want to find fresh ideas (20%) while others want to improve their mood (19%).