When Gangnam Style swept the globe last summer it wasn’t just a dance craze. Psy’s Gangnam Style video became the first online video to pass 1 billion views in just five months on YouTube, part of a massive trend toward visual content that is sweeping the Internet.
It’s a visual world.
Video and multimedia storytelling is becoming one of the key ways in which people get their information, and share it with their networks. Consider some numbers:
- 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
- Three quarters (74%) of Internet users worldwide report watching a video at least once a month
- In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views or around 140 views for every person on Earth (2.7 billion videos a day). In March 2013 YouTube announced that it had crossed a new milestone: a billion unique users a month
- 70% of YouTube’s traffic comes from outside the United States
- The highest percentage of mobile video consumption is in Asia-Pacific, and Middle East/Africa regions, where 74% and 72% of online consumers respectively report watching video on mobile phones at least once a month
- Sixty percent—and rising—of all Web traffic is video
- Three hours of video is uploaded per minute to YouTube from mobile devices.
New platforms and tools such as Storyplanet and Visual.ly have emerged in recognition of the power of visual storytelling. The exponential growth of social media properties such as Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest all attest to the power of visual communication.
Online video is increasingly part of any digital strategy. The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, Economist, and Financial Times are all building up their video production capacity, and some are opening channels for online video.
Watching no longer means just on TV. Consumers can’t get enough of mobile video, and they’re increasingly watching and uploading their own videos on smartphones, tablets, and other handheld multimedia devices.
Increasing Engagement: Video and Social Media Integration
Photos and video drive engagement. On Facebook’s top 10 brand pages, videos are shared 12 times more than links and text posts combined.
500 years of YouTube video are watched every day on Facebook. 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter every minute. So important is visual content that Twitter even adjusted the text-based app again in 2013 to better display video and photos.
On Twitter, posts that contain photos or video are significantly more likely to get re-tweeted:
Visual Content is King on Social
With the advent of social media, being a consumer of video is no longer a passive act. As video is tweeted and shared on Facebook and other social platforms, it becomes a social act. 100 million people take a social action (likes, shares, comments, etc.) on YouTube every week.
Visuals and social have a love-love relationship
Perhaps the most social act of all is creating your video and uploading it online. We may not all be looking to create an offbeat craze a la Gangnam Style, but video and digital storytelling is a great way to engage your audience and to speak—and listen—to the world.