communicating with photos

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Photosharing is growing rapidly.   It’s a highly popular activity on social networks like Facebook.  Pursuing photosharing makes sense as a “thin edge of the wedge” strategy for web startups attempting to build a social platform.

But why is social photosharing so popular?  Some reasons:

  • Sharing photos is an easier way to communicate than sharing written texts.   Humans invented written languages only about 5000 years ago.  Humans and other animals have been pointing at interesting scenes much, much longer.  Photosharing is more easily executed on well-established biological wetware.
  • Photos readily communicate personal context and experience.  That’s common substance of personal communication.
  • Photos typically have less specific meaning than written texts.  Sharing gestures on social networks are one-to-many.  Photos give different persons better opportunities to find engaging communication within the same message.

All these reasons also apply to video sharing.  Video sharing, however, is more difficult for devices and networks to implement.  Video communication also imposes greater time demands on recipients.   Imposing tight constraints on the length of video messages and developing better video browsing tools would contribute to making video a bigger component of social communication.

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