Where are all the words going?

Once again, Facebook is changing its News Feed and the onus – more than ever – will be on pictures and video.

Meanwhile, the fastest-growing social network is still Pinterest, which is all about the visual rather than the textual, and Twitter, with its 140-character limit, continues to proliferate.
Do you see a pattern here? It seems that words are being forced out, no longer deemed important.

Ok, so I may be overstating the case somewhat, but it does feel that our beautiful language(s) is being sidelined.

Slow experiences

Which is why it was so refreshing to hear Margot Bloomstein speak on Day 1 of Confab London.

She was advocating allowing people to take their time online. Make the experience deliberate and memorable, not necessarily as fast as possible.

A picture ‘may’ be worth a thousand words, but what they tend to do as well is stifle the imagination.

There’s minimal mental effort involved when you look at a picture – the story is there in front of you.

When you read prose, however, your brain has to conjure up images to understand the words.

A lot of people want to spend time thinking and considering, providing – and here’s the caveat – it’s right for the brand and customer journey at that point.

The story’s the thing

Stories – whether fictional or factual – take time to tell and to digest.

The rise of the likes of Medium or Storythings shows that people are willing to spend time engaging in a slow experience.

So spare a thought for your user and don’t automatically try to hurry them along for no reason. Greater engagement builds greater long-term trust and that’s surely something we all want.

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