Everybody is creative. In the fast-paced world of technology, this simple human truth is sometimes forgotten. Creativity is what fuels us. But the process of creating took time. Sharing was hard. And finding somebody else who shared your interests was a life-long mission.
Things have changed. In this ever-connected world, people have access to create and share their work or their ideas at the tap of a screen or push of a button. And that unlocks an entirely new way for us to communicate.
Visual storytelling is powerful. It’s how humans communicated in the very early days on this planet.It has evolved into the thousands of written languages we have today. But where visual storytelling plays a role today is in breaking down borders and language barriers with just one simple, universal, image. Just the other day I was looking at Prithwiraj Sarker’s photography on PicsArt (@new2me). Prithwiraj is from Kolkata and he spends his time capturing the beauty and the joy of everyday life in India through the lens of his camera.
You can literally get lost in the story he tells through the striking images in his “mobile gallery.” We don’t speak the same language. We live on the other side of the world from each other. But I feel like I know so much about his culture, his life, and his adventures. All thanks to a series of images. This is the power of creativity combined with a connected world.
I was reading an article recently that stated 44% of millennials in the US use their camera on their phone every single day. 78% of them use their camera to create images and videos for social media. Facebook boasts 8 billion video views every single day. People watch hundreds of millions of hours of videos on YouTube every day. Pinterest has more than 50 billion pins. Instagram has more than 80 million photos per day. And at PicsArt we see billions of views on our community’s work every single month. People have shifted how they want to communicate, how they want to tell their stories and how they discover the world.
Discovery is an important piece of the social media puzzle. Making discovery as seamless and relevant as possible is a real need now that creating and sharing takes seconds, not minutes and language barriers are becoming a thing of the past. We recently saw a shift across all social networks to focus in on the power of discovery.
Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat have all re-vamped how people can search and discover content. For example, Twitter recently expanded “trending” to provide more context around hot topics. Instagram’s new Explore page enables the app to spotlight news and information as it’s happening. And Snapchat’s discover page provides a new way to explore Stories with real-time videos and images. People are hungry to discover new content and these methods of discovery will only become more and more relevant.
In addition to discovery, the ability to create together is something that we believe will lead us into the future. Part of what makes social media “social” is the ability to connect and interact with people who you may not know personally, but who have similar interests to your own. At PicsArt, this idea of collaborative content creation is core to who we are.
The more than 65 million monthly actives on our platform are eager to not only create but to teach each other their craft. Using #FreeToEdit on PicsArt allows the community to pick up somebody else’s creation and give it their own point of view.This is the next phase of where social is headed. It’s a combination of create, collaborate and discover.
As we look to 2016 and beyond, the fact that more and more people will have connectivity is massive. There are estimates that say an additional 3 billion people will be connected to the internet, primarily through mobile, by the end of 2018. They will have access to tell their stories through powerful images. They will have the ability to discover new content from people who they don’t know but who they are inspired by. And they will be able to use their creativity to connect, collaborate and share with a new global community of people.
When you combine the human need for creativity with continually evolving technology, social media becomes a powerful tool in connecting the creative side of everyone, anywhere in the world.
This article is contributed by Eric Edge, he is one of the Featured speakers at the Social Media Week, Mumbai.