The latest stats from PewInternet Research Project show a big win for the visual web.
While Facebook growth has steadied, Pinterest and Instagram have both seen 13 percent growth over the last three years. They’ve both overcome Twitter, and Pinterest has overcome LinkedIn as well. In addition, Snapchat reportedly has almost half as big of a user base as Twitter.
Lots of people have been talking about the rise of the visual web over the past few years, and for good reason. From a media ecology standpoint, it’s inevitable, and just one more sign of our collective move toward a post modern, and more tribal society.
Images allow us to connect in a less linear way. They are more creative, more sensory, and more emotional.
Our love of images might also be a reaction to the overwhelming amount of text found throughout the web (of course this blog isn’t helping any, but I digress.) Simply put, there’s a lot to read.
Marshall McLuhan said, “our electronically-configured world has forced us to move from the habit of data classification to the mode of pattern recognition.” Images allow us to do just that. Have you ever looked at your Pinterst board and learned something about yourself or noticed something you didn’t even realize you were drawn to?
My prediction, if I may be so bold, is that sites such as Instagram and Pinterest will continue to grow over the next few years, as sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will seek to be more visual.
How might that look? Maybe Facebook will allow us to visually view and sort friends, or Twitter will deliver a visual view of feed activity. And think about all of the monitoring from our many connected devices. There will be a real need to easily grok all of that data. The visual web will help us do that.