The fact that social media has pretty much gone over to images shouldn’t be a surprise; with the rise of Pinterest, Vine, Instagram, animated GIFs and even the Edgerank algorithm that Facebook uses to prioritize images over text in feeds, the change has been fairly dramatic. That’s not to say that text is dead and gone; rather, the data is showing that the return on investment in social media happens mostly with visual, not text, content.
This infographic from LTU Technologies helps to put it in perspective. If your library is still puttering along on Twitter with only text content, it’s probably time to re-think that as a strategy.
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One important thing to remember – your images may not be as well indexed as you like. I’m sure Google and the like are starting to do OCR in images to find text and improve the indexing, but look at how badly OCR does on just plain black text on a relatively smooth white background, and extrapolate that to some pretty floral background with each character in a different color. There’s a reason CAPTCHAs are still used by websites to try to prevent robot submissions – and to date, the cheapest way around it is for the robot to send the CAPTCHA image to a barely-paid human who replies with what the text is…
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