Have you noticed how visual the web has become recently? Not so long ago the internet was nearly all text with the occasional picture thrown in that used to take forever to download. Now it is extremely visual and this is making it even more appealing to people like your customers.

There are a number of reasons why the internet is more visual. There have been massive improvements in technology which makes it easier and faster for images to be seen. Superfast wireless broadband means pictures download instantly and video streams effortlessly for most people. Technological developments have made photo and video sharing sites not only possible, but popular. They have captures the public’s imagination and they are now part of people’s everyday routine.

Another reason is shrinking attention spans especially for things online – there is so much online information to wade through these days. Who has the time to read lengthy paragraphs of text? We want succinct blog posts, short videos and pictures. We want something that will show us at a glance if we’ve found what we are looking for. Something that will attract our attention and draw us in. Most of all we want something that looks good so that we will want to click on it and share with our friends.

That is one reason why Pinterest is such a success. As an online scrapbook of images it is attractive – even addictive. As a social bookmarking site it drives more traffic to websites than previous text-based ones such as Delicious. There is a reason why Facebook paid so much to acquire Instagram.

It isn’t just the new social sites who recognise our desire for visual interaction. Even the older social networks like Facebook are becoming more visual. Facebook’s Timeline layout gives more weight to images. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ all have prominent header images on profiles now. This is becoming the norm for what social networks look like.

What does this mean for your business?

  • You need to use plenty of images on your social networking sites.
  • You need to make sure that you use images on any web page or blog post so that people can ‘pin’ them to Pinterest – they can’t share your content if you don’t have a pinnable image.