Visual Sites Get More Social

This week’s Front Lines of the Visual Revolution features two already-visual sites building on top of their products to increase engagement and social activity.

1. Flickr

Hashtag support and usage is growing with rumors that even Facebook will be adopting it soon. Now Flickr is rolling out official support for their iOS app, improving the search function and helping Flickr users join the online conversations happening around a specific hashtag. The photography-based social network has even started their own hashtag-powered image campaign, #FlickrFriday, which asks users to take and share photos based on a different theme every weekend.

2. Pinterest

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Pinterest has been successful in developing a design that encourages e-commerce and engagement, and websites like Ebay are redesigning to match the Pinboard style. Now the site has rolled out a redesign that makes images larger and increases the number by including other pins by the user, pins from people who also pinned that item, and other pins from that source.

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Redesigns Veer Towards the Visual

Following on the heels of Facebook’s news feed update, The New York Times has announced their own site redesign. The new layout pulls inspiration from app design with sliding components for commenting and section selection. But the change that stands out the most is the focus on photography.

The top of the page features one large image and a headline with thumbnails and headlines lining the top of the page. These visuals are used to keep users on the NY TImes’ site, increase clicks, and help to tell richer stories.

The New York Times and Facebook aren’t alone in launching visual-focused redesigns. This week, Rdio launched the new layout for their app which also follows along with the visual theme with cover art as the focal point.

We know that web designers are switching to more visual formats, but why? Sure, it’s prettier, but what does this new aesthetic stem from?

Evidence over the past few years has shown that visual content does better than text alone. On Facebook, posts with photos and videos drive the most engagement. Pinterest is winning the e-commerce side of social media because of its visual-focused layout, which is why Ebay revamped their layout to mimic them. Visual design stems from the visual revolution’s ability to attract more attention, traffic, and therefore revenue.

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