Prominence of the visual web
In late 2011 and all of 2012, we have been talking a lot about the visual web, or visual social media, asserting that it is what we will all remember as the big shift in 2012, as consumers favor the simplicity of taking and consuming photos in lieu of words. Umages are easier to consume and create, and all demographics from wealthy British men, to American teens are grabbing on to the trend, hence the explosive growth of Instagram and Pinterest. Facebook already owns Instagram, spending the equivalent of their first quarter revenues of $1B on acquiring the company, technology, and talent, a brilliant move given the rise of the visual web.
While some studies show that tablet users are far more likely to make a purchase from their device than smartphone users, Dirk Singer (@dirktherabbit) raises additional reasons for the increasing popularity of the visual web:
Continuing the theory
For many years, we have used large images on all stories as visualization of a story is extremely important and helps readers to remember a story better, as they connect a visual with the content. Social media updates are tiny pieces of content, and they are similar in that they are consumed by transitional multi-taskers, but differ in that in the sense of updates, the caption or content is far less important than the image.
Images are not only rising in prominence because the tools have made it easier, but because editing tools have become more readily available, and smartphone/tablet photography has gone mainstream, even with professional photographers. The mobile photography niche has risen dramatically, thus the rise in popularity of Instagram. A photo invokes a stronger response than written word, especially with the A.D.D. culture of today wherein we all have dozens of tabs open on our computers and are using multiple apps all at once. The visual web is rising, and it’s not stopping anytime soon.