The 5 Biggest Changes to Visual Content on Social

The 5 Biggest Changes to Visual Content on Social Jade Furubayashi Blogger Extraordinaire Simply Measured

As social media marketers, we hear it all day, everyday: “Visuals are essential to social media success.” This is not news. However, the definition of “visual content” has changed drastically in the past year. We’re not talking about a Tweet with an image or a Facebook post with a YouTube link.

Future of Social

Visual social media content has evolved its form in the past year, and the following five developments have been the biggest drivers of that change.

March 2015: YouTube Goes 360

If you were a content creator in March of 2015, your jaw hit the floor when YouTube debuted 360 video.

Sophisticated marketers departed from the traditional video format to explore this new and creative video method, which allowed for more opportunities to showcase products and experiences.

For example, let’s take Faraday Future (as seen above). They utilized this new visual medium to showcase their new FFZERO1. By using 360 video, they were able to give their fans an enriched experience, as well as an in-depth sneak peek at their new product.

November 2015: Pinterest Introduces Visual Search

In November 2015, Pinterest introduced a revolutionary new feature which enabled users to find items without text.

Source: Adweek

After Visual Search was announced, many speculated about how it would be used by both brands and consumers. Just recently, Pinterest re-rolled out Visual Search in tandem with their “shopping cart” feature.

Now, Pinterest users can add items to the cart from the web and the app. The combination of these two features will completely revolutionize how brands tailor their visual content for consumers.

December 2015: Facebook Live Enters the Scene

Today, in July of 2016, Facebook Live feels so prevalent that it’s hard to believe it was only rolled out to the public a mere seven months ago. In 2016, video is at the center of any conversation about Facebook marketing, with over 8 billion videos viewed on the network each day.

Since then, Facebook Live has become an integral part of the way that we consume content on social. Video is at the center of any conversation about Facebook marketing, with over 8 billion videos viewed on the network each day. Brands, publishers, news outlets, and users have all adopted the live feature.

Live-streaming is not new, but Facebook has breathed new life into this medium, and brands are building their visual content strategies around it.

June 2016: Tumblr Debuts Live Video

Now, I know what you’re thinking. By this time, Live Video was nothing new, and I completely agree! Tumblr was late to the party on live video, but it doesn’t matter. Why? Tumblr’s demographic’s make this a really big deal.

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 10.44.58 AM

28% of Tumblr’s user base is between 18 and 24 years of age. This doesn’t compare to Snapchat’s use base, but it still outpaces Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Introducing Live Video to this network is like holding a match to a flame. Adoption of live video by this audience is a massive step for visual marketing.

July 2016: Snapchat Integrates Bitmoji

As if Snapchat couldn’t get more hip, today they officially rolled out Snapchat’s integration with Bitmoji. In March of 2016, Snapchat acquired Bitmoji maker Bitstrips for around $100 million. 

Snapchat is taking its visual platform to new heights, replacing what would be text with visual communication mechanisms, like Bitmoji. As CEO Jacob Blackstock put it in this Business Insider article:

Texting is making conversation more convenient than ever, but it’s also stripped away a lot of the things that make communication human.

Brands will now be able to showcase their personalities in a completely new way. We can expect to see more brand partnerships with Bitmoji and Snapchat as this feature continues to roll out.

Did I miss any other developments on this list? Leave your favorites in the comments!

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Jade Furubayashi

My name is Jade and I'm the Social Media Manager for Simply Measured. We can find common ground in Beyoncé and Chipotle burrito bowls.