Why Do Eyes Gravitate to Images on Facebook?
Alright, somebody let the cat out of the bag. Facebook will soon take over the world. We will be witnesses. Not quite, but Facebook is now a leader in the social networking industry. Statistics show that viewers are more likely to remember a Facebook Page status than they are a Twitter tweet, or any other post for that matter--Google and LinkedIn included. Facebook is the preferred media for social networking today, and it’s no surprise. Facebook has a unique advantage that other social networking sites can’t take enough advantage of…the ability to share photos. It may not seem like a huge advantage, but it makes a lot of sense if you break it down. Human beings process online photographs 60,000 times faster than they do online text. Online text lacks animation and empathy, giving our brains the signal that it really isn’t important. To that extent, humans process real pictures much more quickly than they do animated pictures. Are you more likely to memorize a photograph of a loved one than you are to memorize a handwritten letter? That depends on whether you’re a visual processor or in internal processor. Most individuals are visual processors, though there exists an argument that our ability to engage the world around us is becoming diminished as we seek a social connection through anonymity in Facebook chats and computers. This may or may not be accurate, but a simple truth remains: People are more likely to share pictures than they are to share text because they know that others will share it from their page and help them build their network. Pictures and videos share a cell at the top of a long list of engaging formats, and they have a high virality rate. Facebook is, by nature, an interactive platform. Nobody will interact if all they see on a page is straight text, no matter how interesting the conversation is. They won’t read it. A picture is often the first thing to catch a viewer’s eye on Facebook because text just doesn’t make the cut. At the end of the day--for businesses--an image is worth a thousand Likes, right?