The 5 biggest social media lessons from 2013
The rise of visual social media
Sure, you can say a lot in 140 characters, but a picture is still worth a thousand words. In January, Twitter-owned Vine launched as a mobile service for sharing 6-second looping videos. Then, in June, Facebook responded by enabling video on Instagram.
We also saw the rise of Snapchat, a service that allows users to share photos and videos without the permanency of other social networks. That’s because users control how long (1 to 10 seconds) the recipients can see their "Snaps." Once the time is up, the photo or video disappears. The service has become so popular among young Internet users that Facebook reportedly recently offered to buy it for $3 billion. Snapchat declined.
And days before its IPO, Twitter launched a product update so that tweets with Twitter photos or Vine videos display a preview thumbnail. While this facelift is still in its early days, it's already made Twitter feel like a more visual and less-textual platform.