Visual Language

January 31, 2015 1:08 pm

VisuallanguageWhich is the new universal language? Try to figure out… It’s visual. Who says so? The “Almighty” Facebook, that recently registered a meaningful switch from the usual verbal communication to a one that is more visual, based upon icons, memes, photos, videos and similar. Facebook probably wouldn’t be what it is today without audio-visual aids, part of its appeal is due to the large amount of cute icons you can add to the conversations or statuses. No one would want to underestimate the possibility to communicate with the simple yet powerful normal language – let alone the opportunity to share a huge amount of social data – but the rise of memes, videos and iconic communication depicts clearly a change in the preferences and trends of languages. Just think about the regularity of “smileys” or emoticons in our text messages, as a quick vehicle for expressing certain emotions. Just consider the number of videos posted by your contacts on their profiles; you will guess why statistics show the visual communication at the top of the preferred behaviours.

Visual communication has been the subject of many studies, surveys and academic papers, from aesthetics to psychology. Therefore some researchers developed the concept of ‘graphicacy’, defined as the ability to interpret and create visual signs and graphic ideas, a sort of a third faculty besides literacy and numeracy. It’s not an exaggeration, if you think about the numbers involved in the matter. You want some data? In the past year, video posts per person has increased by 75% globally and by 94% in the single US. Talking about the US, almost half of the total amount of users watches at least one video per day. Moreover, videos are watched more and more on mobile devices. Truth is that videos and audio-visuals are becoming more popular, and linguists, marketers and researches need to broad their approach on the language studies to include the technology that is affecting so strongly our way to communicate.

Read more: Visual language comes to life on Facebook

Matteo Poles

Social Media Specialist

Communication Trainee at TermCoord

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