A Facebook spokesperson stated that in five years time, Facebook activities will “probably” be all video. The argument backing the statement up was based on the fact that the largest amount of information which can be sent through to a person in the shortest amount of time is through video.
The argument is valid. Information is received by individuals based on sensorial stimulation. The text is static and only stimulates our optical receivers. Audio only stimulates our hearing but the information collected is also greater. We can perceive emotions, sarcasm, the cadence of the words matters more.
Video stimulates both our sight and hearing but whereas text is static, video transmits visual information at 23, 24, 27, or 60 frames per second, depending on the source.
While some will quickly take Facebook’s words and label our times as the Last of Age of the Written Word, others will remember that throughout history there have been several last” ages of the written word.”
When the telephone became a household technology, it was the end of the written word for casual penpals. There was no more need for long pages filled with words, no need to spend hours writing a letter, and no need to spend days, weeks, or months waiting for a reply. People spent their times on the phone which back then had to be hooked into a wall.
When the personal computer became a household technology, so did e-mail. Postal letters were now becoming a thing of antiquity. The dead age of writing, however, was coming back with electronic mail, forums, and then instant messaging. The World Wide Web was neat and all, but dial-up connections were slow. Text could be sent and received faster than anything else back then.
When the cell phone became a household technology, it was definitely the end of the landline phone. People were now mobile. People could now multi-task. They could no longer always spend their time talking on the phone to just one person or a small conference call. The world had been given the gift of SMS.
The issue with being mobile and multitasking, however, is that everybody is doing it. Mobile phone calls have some of the most varied background noise because during a phone call these days, anything can be happening on the sidelines.
Not to mention that since everybody now multitasks and wants to talk to everyone else, a phone call means (or meant) that both parties are actively locking themselves out of possible interaction with others. Texting via SMS and Instant Messaging does require the full use of digits on at least one hand but has fewer drawbacks in regards to multi-tasking and online socializing.
When Skype became a household name, the peer-to-peer video was made available to the masses. Mobile phone technology quickly followed. We all had that friend who would always video-call us on our phones. Either that or we were that friend.
Soon after YouTube and vlogging became household names, the website added a feature which was called video responses. The service enabled YouTube users to record and post a short video of themselves reacting or replying to the video instead of doing so in a written comment.
The service could have been seen as the Last Era of the Written YouTube Comment. Instead, it was removed because it wasn’t used as broadly as expected and when it was used, nobody seemed to care to check the responses.
Streaming has become more popular since those days. Recording hardware and software has been improved. Cloud storage capacity has expanded. There are other social media services, such as Instagram and Snapchat, which already use short videos.
Nevertheless, popular YouTube videos and vlogs require time and effort to edit.
Streamers are, for the most part, in the same position as people were in the age of the landline phone – hooked to a wall.
Instagram photographers can take days or weeks shooting and editing images.
Facebook is saying that they expect their activities to be probably all video in five years means that they want it to happen and that they’re making efforts towards achieving this.
Facebook enabled video responses, and they can be great when properly used.
They want the social media service to be a reliable way to stream video. That has the potential to make it as big as Twitch. Or, just as quickly, Facebook streaming can end up being like Google Plus vs. Facebook did.
Facebook does currently own the Oculus Rift, though. They will end up integrating it into the interface somehow and based on their history it should be better than what Microsoft did with the Kinect.
Until Facebook lets the world in on some its future endeavors, saying that fives years from now the social media service will probably be all video will not be rocking a lot of boats. It is a fantastic concept, but the world never went all audio and in those days there was less multi-tasking than now.
Facebook may plan to go all video, but the rest of the world will still be holding on to their keyboards for the time being.
Image Courtesy of Flickr.