5 Lessons Startups Can Learn From the Porn Industry

Online porn is a billion-dollar industry, but not just because sex sells

As of 2015, revenues from the online porn industry reached $3.3 billion, according to IBISWorld Market Research.

With the influx of virtual reality devices such as the Oculus Rift, the porn industry is expected to flock to VR. Forecasts are that VR will add an additional $1 billion to online porn revenue in the next few years.

Besides fulfilling the most basic, carnal desires, there are reasons why online porn is so successful—the industry is extremely savvy in creating a slick and user-friendly Web presence. Look at any of the major porn sites; you will see content that’s easy to navigate, responsive, and highly visual.

Here are five takeaways from online porn that you can apply to your startup’s Web presence:

Be Visual:

The old adage “show, don’t tell” should not just apply to porn but also to startups. Invest in stunning visuals: high-resolution images, high-definition videos, crisp slideshows are all attention-getters.

Be Interactive:

Whether it’s through webcams or enabling a search for “<fill-in-the-blank> persons in your area,” porn sites are interactive.

Do the same by incorporating interactive elements. These include adding live chat to your site for customers, allowing comments and feedback, adding social media sharing, or creating contests and giveaways.

Be Simple:

Most porn sites use simple, short language. Clearly, visitors aren’t there to read but you can take the same approach by using conversational, clear language on your startup’s page or even within your app.

Be Navigable:

Most porn sites also do a good job of categorizing content. Whatever your pleasure is, you can typically find it with just a few clicks. Easy navigation is important when designing an app or website: Don’t bury content or links and make them difficult for visitors to find.

Be Responsive:

Online porn probably would not be so lucrative if it took forever for the site and videos to load. These sites do a lot of back-end performance tweaking to ensure fast load times and responsiveness. Work with a back-end specialist who can help enhance the performance of your app or website.