As humans, our visual sense is one of the strongest. We process everything about the world, through our eyes. Visual media is universal, crossing the boundaries of geography, culture, language, ethnicity, etc. Another fact about visual media, specifically pictures, is that they are instinctually, and naturally understood. Most messages are communicated through text, but as more communication has moved online, the context and platforms for communication enable the increased use of images.
A Scientific Explanation
Researchers have discovered people are naturally more attracted to online content that contains images. Why? Images can be comprehended instantly, multiple images can be scanned simultaneously, and images can be shared, distorted, edited, much faster then text. Ultimately, pictures are exciting, fresh, and take less time to process in an age of information overload.
“A 2012 study by ROI Research found that when users engage with friends on social media sites, it’s the pictures they took that are enjoyed the most. Forty-four percent of respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures than any other media. Pictures have become one of our default modes of sorting and understanding the vast amounts of information we’re exposed to every day.” (2012, Walter, Fast Company)
Pictures Are Trending
Look at the way social media, especially mobile media is moving. Look at the most popular use of social media, via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumbler and more. Pictures are the most popular and most widely shared information, and that is not a coincidence it is a trend. In fact, Instagram and Pinterest are based exclusively on posting, editing, and sharing pictures. Part of this is the vast use of smart phones with cameras. With this technology, people can easily and instantly capture and upload images to multiple social media sites on the go.
Use lots of pictures!
This may seem overly simple, but it is a very true. Pictures have become the medium through which so much online communication occurs. Scroll through your Facebook newsfeed and see where your attention naturally drifts; you find yourself looking almost exclusively at pictures. When it comes to business, this is very important information. A picture is worth a thousand words, but to a marketer, a picture can be worth much more than that.
How can you as an individual, or a business more effectively use images as a tool?
Branding & Design Social Media Web Design No To The Quo