In parallel with the well-documented selfie phenomenon has been an explosion in image-centric content, typified by apps like Pinterest and Instagram. An astounding 1.8bn images are uploaded to the Internet every day, withSnapchat and WhatsApp driving much of this growth over the past year. Although the majority of these are personal pictures, this hunger for the visual web is creating the cultural climate within which your content operates.
Think of the enormous influence of BuzzFeed – sites like this have helped to transform the design of many websites from being primarily text-based to, in some cases, pictures or GIF files surrounded by long captions.
This creative development has been aided by faster broadband speeds and the widespread uptake of smartphones. After all, if you’re idly scrolling through Facebook on your phone, it is much easier on your eyes to look at pictures or video rather than squint at reams of text.
Happily for publishers, the advent of the visual web presents opportunities as well as the need to secure excellent layout artists. The past few years have been marked for the publishing world by the process of exploring different ways of monetising editorial output, experimenting with gated content, programmatic methods of selling display inventory, different physical ad formats and the advent of ‘native’ advertising that sits amongst editorial content more seamlessly than classic ad slots.
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