Picturemania: Today, We Communicate in Images

Vienna on Mar 5, 2014

Picking up from our last article about Facebook and the abandonment of many users onto more image-based social networks (i.e. Instagram and Snapchat), we decided to investigate the phenomenon of more and more people, especially younger generations, communicating in pictures, rather than text.

Perhaps you have been noticing it, too. More and more and more images EVERYWHERE! What makes a good homepage nowadays? Lots of pictures. What makes a blog successful? Including many HD-photos. What type of content do online users respond to the most? Pictures and videos. Not to mention how the usage of attention-grabbing, strong imagery in advertising and editorial spaces has evolved. The image library business is booming. The demand for outstanding photographers, graphic designers, and visual producers has never been higher. And their competition amongst each other has never been tougher. Meanwhile, so-called “digital natives” don’t seem to have the patience to read a text of more than five lines without regular interruption of illustrating images. So what is happening here?

The fact that pictures can speak more than a thousand words is nothing new. And if you look at modern society and the fast-paced, busy times we live in and young kids grow up in, it should be no surprise that most of us would rather take a look at a picture or short video that conveys a certain message including an underlying story, mood, and emotion, than taking several minutes to read about it. If anything, most likely, our attention needs to be grabbed by an intriguing image first to lure us into spending minutes of our precious time to actually read a few lines. At the same time, while our attention spans get shorter, they grow wider, and we are able to take in and digest more images at a time than we have ever been before. Whether this is logical, practical, or a little sad (probably, it’s all of the above), it is happening and there is no backwards-trend in sight anytime soon. So if you actually made it to the end of this article, as a thank you for your attention, let us leave you with this insight: If you are in a field of work where you need to captivate an audience, always remember, imagery is key.