Why the future of social is visual

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A picture is worth a thousand words . . .

Something we’ve all heard, thousands of times over the years. As our attention span/communication methods become more condensed and we’re asked to do more with less; is it any surprise that online communities like Pinterest, Tumblr or Instagram are hot properties? It shouldn’t be. At the dawn of the web, many people were confused with the interface since it looked more like a TV than a book. Read? Really?  

They quickly figured it out, but it’s safe to say that images and video were a more natural fit for the medium. This is evidenced today by the explosion in online behavior with the web taking a back seat and the Internet moving forward.

Using text as the primary form of content can be like watching someone try to tell a funny story, only to finish up with saying, “You had to be there”. (Yes. I’m well aware that I’m blogging. :) ) Using an image (or a video) can easily replace thousands of words and is the key to progressive disclosure. (If you’re on the content-marketing-bandwagon-O-hype, progressive disclosure is for you!)

We’ve seen Facebook’s commitment to images long before it bought Instagram, as it took the number one photo-sharing spot away from Flickr. I would be shocked if Pinterest isn’t Facebook’s next target. They’ve already launched a “me to!” service but there is little chance of it catching Pinterest, which is the fastest growing website of all time.

So . . . if your marketing your product/service; start with images and video. Speak to visual side of the brain while addressing your customer’s time/attention constraints.

Lauren Sorenson of Hubspot points out some additional benefits here.

Update: Here’s a link to an infographic that highlights some other reasons.

 

 

By Michael Myers

I'm an Associate Teaching Professor of Digital Marketing at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. I also consult with startups and established brands. I'm currently focused on artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience and culture. I am married to an amazing woman and have two incredible children. I was raised in Colorado and spend my free time with family, biking, snowboarding and going to the Pacific Ocean to SCUBA dive and/or surf. I'm passionate about architecture, design, street art, photography and the art that tattooing has evolved into.

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