Because we are all human beings in social media and online, with exception of bots, we are all very visual. We have a need to visualize what we read and process the text under the proper context of its meaning. Think about it… We process information primarily visually, then use text to get the deeper detail.
Example: Think about today’s computers and smart phones. Without getting into who stole what from whom, we have GUI (graphical user interfaces) today that makes it easy to use a computer or smart phone. We visually determine what we want to do, largely without reading any text, due to the graphics that guide our actions. This was such a powerful change to everything we do, I even copyrighted the phrase “Pictures rather than words” in 2000.
Many of you read my prediction about Facebook and Pinterest where I predicted that Facebook would create something to combat the Pinterest growth and resulting leak of time on site to the new network. I took a lot of heat for this prediction by the many avid users of Pinterest, but I am used to that. You see, I am committed to never getting emotionally attached to a network or method. I look at the industry solely from the facts and data patterns in order to best utilize social media marketing and be as forward thinking in my writing as possible. Whether it be Google, Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or Pinterest, I am committed to keeping an unbiased business view of the industry. Am I always right? Of course not. Does this approach give me the ability to provide a unique perspective for my readers, absolutely!
So, with the acquisition of Instagram, it is clear that Facebook did in fact see the importance of the image and categorizing segment of social media Pinterest captured and intended to address it. I believe that Facebook is developing additional “in network” changes to their platform that will make the best use of the Instragram infrastructure and user base that ultimately results in an online and mobile Pinterest-like solution to its users. One of the significant advantages that Facebook achieves with this purchase is an irrevocable lead over Pinterest in the mobile, social media application of grouped/sorted images. That along with becoming the default method for mobile image content creation and sharing to the social graph, as well as it’s primary repository location that houses that content, the momentum gained here is massive!
What’s next? Look for some initial integration of the Instagram platform directly into Facebook’s systems, followed by some substantial changes to the way that images can be grouped and managed within Facebook. I think that they will follow all of this with some additional categorization abilities for shared content that will enable Pin-like sorting of other content not directly uploaded into Facebook by users.
Now that we are seeing the reality of Facebook’s chess move designed to combat the Pinterest phenomena, what do I suggest YOU do? A few things…
1) Stop whining and complaining about it.
2) Be prepared for the inevitable Facebook dominance of this market segment also.
3) Look for ways to take advantage of these changes for marketing purposes that address the interests of your target audience.