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Humans are capable of processing visuals faster than text. There would be no doubt to the comprehension of this study if you look at the progress that social media has made in propagating images and other visual media as the most preferred mode of sharing. The image traffic is huge and it is growing by the minute. Over 90% of the information that we comprehend and which is transmitted to the brain is visual. The trend on the most popular social media website says that users would prefer to write less and share pictures more. With all the interactions that users have with their friends on the social network, the pictures and the ones that are shared more and enjoyed, needless to say that those are the ones that garner the highest likes and shares too.
Social platforms have cropped up since the social media revolution hit the common man. From location based networking to online virtual pin boards, everything has the space for a good picture or two. There are camera apps that accentuate the effects and lighting on the picture taken from your phone or iPod. Dozens of free and even more paid apps that let you upload real time and share with friends. People realize that typing out a tedious status update is much more taxing than taking a good picture and let it talk – on the go.
Pictures have also become a short form way of communicating lots of information quickly and succinctly. 53% more likes and 104% more comments on Facebook make the gist of the picture revolution. Interestingly enough, even memes fall short of competing with pictures. Website like 9Gag.com and reddit.com started with memes but currently they are featuring more photos than memes itself. These websites however owe their success to pictures, they experience immense traffic in a day.
Social platforms like Instagram and Pinterest have their primary sharing entity as the picture. The text or status is optional. Facebook also has the same kind of leverage for a user but the other two are based around the picture oriented interface. According to Forbes, a picture is much more than a thousand words when it comes to marketing your business and this is evident from the advertising paradigm prevalent today and has been for ages.
Here is a Facebook blog post which gives data about the photo activity on the social network.
Given below is an infographic that points out why photos are the dominant content on the sites: