“2014 will be the year of short form sound, sight and motion… gifs, vine and instagram videos will deliver greater viewership and higher engagement than long-form. Agencies will compete over who can tell the shortest stories with the biggest impact. Consumers will be charmed as their attention spans continue to deteriorate!”
Director, Media & Consumer Engagement, Kraft Foods
Photos are Eating the Internet
Every minute tens of thousands of images are uploaded to Tumblr and Instagram. This number is growing by the second as people snap selfies, photograph their food, and capture historical events as they unfold.
Facebook alone has over a quarter of a trillion photos.
Pinterest-ification of the Web
The internet has always loved images, but we’re just now enjoying the screen resolutions and bandwidth speeds to make the visual web a rich experience. It was not that long ago when websites were a vast sea of blue links. eBay had images on the home page 13 years ago, but these were gifs that slowly downloaded through dialup modems. This year we’ll see the rise of the “4K display” with ~4000 horizontal pixels, and the continued roll-out of high-resolution tablets. We are sure to see more sites default to a river of endless images not unlike Pinterest Boards and image-rich Tumblr Blogs.
Photojournalism Meets the Visual Web
Photos tell stories in a glance. We can see and feel emotion instantly and grasp the rapture of a nature photo. Journalists and respected news organizations have taken to Instagram to publish their work.
Your Eyes Were Made for Scanning
Whether we are scrapbooking, window shopping, or just browsing your favorite magazine, our eyes love to scan. The rise of the visual web has brought sites like Pinterest to multi-billion dollar valuations. Erin Davis points out how expert “pinners” make use of the visual language to show, not tell and these Pins are generally the most shared.
“We’ve marveled at the soaring growth of Pinterest, which works because it feeds the needs of the user: show them what they’re going to get and nothing else. Successful pins have some text incorporated to the image so that readers don’t even have to read the caption. The best pins don’t even require a click-through. The pin graphic explains it all.”
—Erin Davis, Speakeasy
Images Drive Engagement
The scientists over at Buffer have measured how images attached to Tweets increase engagement. For all measurements of engagement, images attached to your Tweets will drive engagement higher. These results were also found in a study of 100 big brands on Twitter.
The Visual Web is Just Getting Started
Digital cameras are getting smaller, lighter, and sharper each year. The ways in which photos will be taken and shared will explode as our technology and our imagination takes us to new places. We’ll certainly see photos from aerial objects like kites, drones, octocopters, and more. Imagine how many more photos will be shared by wearable, always-on, cameras. While Google Glass made waves in 2013, new wearable cameras will be soon be fashionable and socially acceptable. Until then, keep snapping and keep posting!
Lead photo credit: Jarda, unsplash.com
Tony Cecala, VP Technology, Newsroom Ink.
Tony is a web developer specializing in new media. Embracing high tech and high touch, he currently produces tech events and wellness events, and runs the DFW WordPress Meetup with over 1600 members. At Newsroom Ink, he develops WordPress-based newsrooms for businesses and non-profit organizations. Find Tony online at tonycecala.com