Inexorable as a glacier and insistent as an eroding wind, the pressure mounts to move data faster and in new ways. Emojis, acronyms, initials, abbreviations, contractions, codes and symbols are all responses to that pressure. Emoji use recently hit 700 million in a recent month compared to 125 million in the same month a year ago, according to Gavin O’Malley in Media Post. He also reported that Snapchat recently spent in the $100 million range to purchase a company that will enable users of its app to create personal emojis to convey their feelings and thoughts. Facebook Messenger claims a billion active users monthly and every day the platform’s users and businesses send 7 billion photos, 1 billion messages, and 22 million gifs, according to Ben Frederick in Mobile Marketing Daily. That may not include 11,000 plus “bots”- automated computer programs – constantly trolling the Internet and clicking on and responding to messages.
This unrelenting messaging makes contraction and compaction even more insistent. It also makes Loren McDonald’s question in Email Insider more then click bait, “Are Words (In Email Marketing Messages) So Last-Century?” She was stressing the need to use more images. And, considering recipients spend an average of 3 seconds in reading a single email, she has a point. Advertising has it even worse according to a recent Research Brief from Media Post. It reports our eyes average from 200 to 800 milliseconds on an Internet ad.
The real result of this pressure to convey more data faster, with more impact means more use of video. New York Times CEO Mark Thompson says, “the future of media is visual,” according to J. Max Robins in TV Everywhere News. The Times just bought Fake Love” an agency that specializes in virtual and mixed reality content. Cisco’s annual report predicts video will be 80% of web traffic by 2020. Ruper Murdoch plans to spend several million pounds to increase to “thousands” the number of videos published yearly by his Sun and Times, in Great Britain, according to the Guardian. The Chicago Tribune is shooting for thousands of videos daily, John Hermann of The New York Times, quotes “Michael W. Ferro Jr., chairman of the newspaper and magazine publishing company Tronc, formerly known as Tribune Publishing: “Right now, we’re doing a couple hundred videos a day…We think we need to be doing 2,000 a day. Growing number of publishers have turned to technology that promises to streamline video production, sometimes to the point of near-full automation.” He describes two companies that dominate the market for automated news video: Wochit and Wibbitz. “They analyze, and may summarize, text, be it a script or a traditional news article, and then automatically find photographs and video clips to go with it. The services typically get the videos and images from sources like The Associated Press and Getty Images.”
Facebook is buying video content from a number of companies and celebrities. Tumbler is partnering with other companies to provide video and live streaming. Meredith Corporation, publisher of Better Homes and Gardens, Martha Stewart’s Living and other shelter titles, is expanding its technology and studios as a key component of its editorial content and business strategy, according to PJ. Bednarski in VideoBlog. Twitter, has increased the time allowed for a video posted on its platform as well as on Vine to 140 seconds from 30 seconds. And it purchased Magic Pony a company that will expand and enhance its video offerings. NextVR just raised $80 million to expand its platform. Numerous other publishers have announced expansion of their video capabilities.
All of which raises the question asked by MediaPost’s TV Watch: More TV Cameras Everywhere: Will Consumers Need to Be Their Own TV Editors/Producers? or, are consumers even demanding online video news? In another blog, Bednarski reports: “A recent report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism found that, yes, people will go to online news sources to watch video coverage of a ‘big, breaking news story.’ But most of the time, they’d rather read all about it, rather than see it, which is kind of a cruel irony for the shriveling print world.” No matter, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg thinks, “What I think we are going to get to…past VR, is a world where more than just being able to capture what’s going on in a scene, I think you’re going to be able to capture a thought, what you’re thinking or feeling, in its kind of ideal and perfect form in your head and be able to share that with the world,” according to James Titcomb, of Bloomberg quoting from a Facebook Q &A session. Supporting that view is the man credited with inventing the Internet, Tim Berners-Lee. He predicts a time “when everything becomes more intuitive, and the things we want are more naturally embedded within our environments,” according to Sarah Fay, writing for AI Insider, a new MediaPost newsletter.