Chapter 14

The Visual Web

Dan Tyte

From Flickr's photo sharing to Facebook's social snaps, Instagram's instant on-the-go cool to the beautiful boards of Pinterest, this chapter explores the channels and the content which turned the web from words to wow.

A bird's eye view

If the old adage “a picture's worth a thousand words” is to be believed, today's web has got enough for a team of travelling encyclopedia salesmen. If web 1.0 was characterized by copy, images are now the king of online content with millions being tagged, tweeted and tumbled each and every second.

The visual web has been the hottest online trend of 2012 and the march of the megapixel is inherently linked to the rise of mobile web. 1.2 billion smartphones and tablets are predicted by Gartner to be sold worldwide in 2013 and 20% of web visits are now on the go.120 The latest mobiles from big players Apple and Samsung, the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S III, come equipped with an 8 megapixel camera. Almost overnight, the streets and sidewalks have become populated with people with the ability in their pockets to photo-document their lives, loves, friends, families, communities and campaigns.

Let's take a look at three of the biggest image-led networks, Flickr, Facebook and Instagram, to explore how the visual web has developed over a relatively short space of time. Image host Flickr was (emphasis on the “was”) the web's online photo album of choice, with bloggers big fans of its functionality. A child of unintended consequences, ...

Get Share This Too: More Social Media Solutions for PR Professionals now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.