That’s one picture, one story. The Social Snaps universe is turning this notion on its head. Because now those photos are tagged and geo-tagged. Then add in Facebook, the world’s largest photo/image database. We’ve just blown past big data into ‘giant data’ territory, what with Facebook’s 1.8 billion profiles.
Does the quantity of images lessen the value of a single image? What constitutes the worth of the photo—the image, the quantity (or scarcity) or is it the idea contained in the single image that is worth 1000 words?
A new image-based language is emerging. It’s verbal and non-verbal. It’s a lot like Google Glass—hard to explain but totally clear once you’ve tried it. I’m just gaining insight into where we’re going with this, and I’m fascinated.
According to mobiThinking, by 2016, 387.5 billion MMS (messages that include photos and video) will be sent, representing 1.7 percent of global messaging traffic. And much of that will be pictures sent with no written or verbal language attached at all. A sunrise. A cat. A selfie. A concert, a business meeting, a revolution, a baby.
This huge photo mosaic is its own new alphabet. From the paleolithic caves to the viral photos in the cloud, the link from photo to eye to mind to perception is endlessly fascinating. We think we know the story the cave dwellers were telling with stallions and hunters and fire. Now we are, each of us, telling thousands of photo-stories in real-time, all the time.
Yes, a picture is worth 1000 words, and 1000 social pictures is worth…? We’re going to find out together.
Beverly Macy is the co-author of The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing. She also teaches Executive Global Marketing and Branding and Social Media Marketing for the UCLA Extension. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.