Digital Predictions for 2013: It’s All About the Visuals

As 2012 draws to a close and a new year kicks off, we’ve put together a few digital predictions for 2013, focused on one crystal-clear trend: People want more images and less text.

1. Visual content will reign. People are increasingly embracing visual versus written content, as evidenced by the overwhelming popularity of Pinterest and Instagram, and by other leading social networks integrating and improving their photo-sharing capabilities. Amateur photographers (aka, consumers) will keep sharing their stories in photos, and less in text. Don’t get left behind the trend!

2. Things can only get more pin-teresting. Pinterest took the world by storm in 2012, becoming the third-most-popular social networking site. As the network continues to grow and expand, expect to see changes continue throughout the network, including the development of revenue models (like in-platform advertising), especially as more brands join in and develop unique marketing campaigns.

3. Instagram isn’t going anywhere. In fact, Instagram seems like it is everywhere—except, that is, on Twitter. Last week, Instagram, which was purchased by Facebook earlier this year for more than $1 billion, actually pulled its photos from Twitter. Now that Instagram has officially broken up with Twitter, its relationship with Facebook will only deepen and flourish. Ads are likely to show up on Instagram in 2013 because some Facebook user data can now be used to target Instagram users.

4. Social media king Facebook adapts to the visual content shift. Don’t think Facebook will be left out. This year, Facebook introduced the Timeline format, which includes large cover photos on profiles and pages. In addition, data has shown that photos attract twice the number of “likes” on Facebook that text-based status updates do. The result? Companies and brands are investing heavily in image and video creation with the intent of posting it on Facebook. We can only expect their budgets to rise.

5. Twitter tweaks. Twitter’s response to Instagram parting ways, “Who needs you, anyway?” Early in 2013, Twitter is rumored to be introducing filters that may be applied to photos uploaded to the platform. Question is: Will it catch on, or does Instagram own that space? Time will tell. Experts have put together 13 additional tweaks Twitter might make in the New Year.

6. Tumblr tests the limits of creativity. Although it was launched in 2007, Tumblr has just recently really caught on, entering the ranks of the top 10 most-visited websites in the U.S. What is it, you ask? Tumblr is a social networking and micro-blogging platform that currently houses more 77 million blogs and receives more than 25 million unique visitors every month. It begs for creativity—in fact, don’t expect to build a devoted following without an appealing design and intriguing visual content. Don’t believe us? Check out these 10 brands who are doing Tumblr right.

So, tell us: What do you think of this shift toward visual content? Have any predictions would you add to the list?



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