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The number of digital readers across mobile and desktop peaks at 12:18pm, according to analytics platform Parse.ly, although only mobile traffic remains more consistent until late in the evening.

The quarterly report, published this week, also found digital readers across both platforms were lowest at 4:22am.

"There's a little bit of a mismatch between when content is published and when demand for that content is," Parse.ly chief executive officer Sachin Kamdar told Journalism.co.uk.

He added that media organisations should ensure their publishing times "capture that shift" in audiences from desktop to mobile, the latter being sustained "well into the night".

parse.ly report nov 14

The report looked at data from 10 billion pageviews and 100,000 posts from publishers during June, July and August 2014 to find the best times for audience engagement.

Kamdar said media organisations should experiment with later publishing times "to get a sense of whether that is representative of your readership".

"You now know that a lot of that consumption habit is going to happen through tablet and mobile, so keep that in mind," he added.

"You want to be able to actually deliver an experience that's going to make sense for them."

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Publishers could also look at reading trends emerging at later times in the day. Kamdar said publishers could look at the type of content people are more likely to engage with during those hours, and see which subjects or which particular authors generate the most interest.

He also highlighted the importance of understanding where traffic is coming from at specific times.

"My bet is that for most sites the traffic patterns are going to change from when people are on desktops to when they're on mobile and tablets," said Kamdar.

"You want to look at that because there might be ways to optimise in terms of promoting your content or featuring your content."

The report also included year-on-year referral source data, looking at platforms through which audiences discover content.

Some 22 per cent of traffic (222 million page views) came from Facebook in August 2014, compared to 12 per cent (91 million page views) in the same month last year.

Facebook remains the second most popular source as Google continues to top the chart with a 35 per cent share (346 million page views in 2014).

"We've heard a lot over the past year about how Facebook has sort of taken over when it comes to content and we see that directly in our data", Kamdar said.

The next three sources in the top five are Yahoo (6.6 per cent), Twitter (4.5 per cent), and news sites (2.9 per cent).

"That's in my opinion a pretty big deal that Google was still able to withhold this standing as number one, and Facebook took the referral shares from everyone else," said Kamdar.

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