The power of the image
“A picture isn’t worth 1000 words… a picture is worth a picture”. It’s a fact. The human being is eminently visual. From a sensory point of view the people guide their senses from sight. The associations of text, in a comprehensive level, get more powerful when they are accompanied by images. And it is that the human begs visualize better than interpret or describe. Colors influence our mood and our personality, and sometimes photography is capable of transmitting other shades that word or sound cannot reach.
From there that the snapshots have turned into the new way of communicating, inspiring and enriching. Proof of that are the success and the capacity of engagement of social networks with more visual load like Pinterest and Instagram.
As more people start communicating with images it is when the concept of visual search gets more relevant, useful and demanded. Here are 5 reasons why visual search is taking over the world:
#1 Text is boring. Visual is in.
We are primarily visual beings. We are biologically programmed for perceiving the world in a visual way. And it is that we process images even 60.000 times faster than texts. Besides, we have more capacity for retaining visual content than any other format. We remember up to 80% of what we see, while only 20% of what we read, or 10% of what we hear. The old adage of “A picture is worth a thousand words” could not be truer. Besides, images are more visually stimulating and attractive than a flat text.
#2 Capturing images with smartphones has turned into a ‘habit’.
New generations are every time more digital and mobile. We live in a world surrounded by selfie sticks, memes and emojis. Besides, our mobile devices come equipped with high definition cameras and social networks are claiming every time more (if you want to be liked) visual content. Snapshots have become habit tendencies, establishing in a new way of communicating. We capture to share, immortalize, remember and experiment with a specific moment in a global way (without language barriers).
#3 80% of semantic searches fail.
How do you search for something when you do not know what you are looking at? Conventional search engines force you to describe, transform to keywords and tags what you are looking at. And it is here where we find the principal handicap, further from language barriers, between consumers and retailers: coincide in the description, in the assignation of the attributes of the image. And it is that there are as many descriptions as perceptions. From there that the alarming figure that 80% of semantic searches in an eCommerce fail. A clear example is the viral phenomenon #TheDress or the challenge we lay out in the post Search Engines Revolution: from semantic search to visual search. In conclusion, why not start a search with an image? Wouldn’t it be easier and more natural?
#4 See it… shop it.
We want what we see, and if it’s possible, right now. Said in other words: we want to find what we want in just one ‘click’. So that the concept of taking a photo to access a universe of information makes more sense every time. From there, the information search system goes evolving to visual search.
#5 A picture worth a picture.
A photo is absolute, it never changes. When someone takes a photo they ‘immortalize’ the moment, place, experience… Therefore, it cannot be altered. However you look at it, with any perspective it’s looked at it will always be the same. However, interpretation will vary according to the person who is looking at it. Semantic search can alter the essence of the image, but the search by image is like exact science. A search in which interpretation (alteration) has no place at all. Visual search (from an image) not only optimizes the search process, but also increases the percentage of success, of finding what you were looking for.
Visual Search must not be looked at only as a rising tendency. Visual Search is a new way of communication, of exchanging, looking for and accessing information. The simple act of taking a photo has turned into an action so powerful in the world we live in today that starting a search from an image is the next logical step.