The launch of Facebook’s app ‘Paper’, internal comms and visual communications

Facebook recently announced its new app ‘Paper’ which allows people to use the social media platform in a similar way to Flipboard – with a newspaper-like format that lets you skim through content instead of scrolling through information.

This is a great example of how important it is to match content to the platform used and is particularly important when writing for an online platform. Research shows that reading from computer screens is 25 percent slower than reading from a paper copy and audiences are likely to spend less time reading online compared to in print.

1.0116The communications industry is evolving to respond to the different ways in which people now receive information and visual communications is a key trend for 2014 – as identified by ‘Messages’ in our January episode of Storyboard TV (2014 Internal Comms trends).

Both external and internal communications are becoming more focused upon the visual, with studies showing that the use of visualised information has increased by 400% since 1990.  As Facebook say in their promotion video, “Stories come in all shapes and sizes, they can be told with words or a single picture”.

We outline the trend of visual communications and different visual ways to display information, share your messages and engage employees in our Spring issue of AQ – an award-winning internal communications magazine – that will be published at the beginning of March 2014.

Until then, here is a taster of the article:

“Communicators have seen a shift over the years in how their audiences wish to receive their messages. We have become used to getting information in quick and easily-digestible ways – you just have to look at social media to appreciate this.

Web

We are living in a world where news is passed by tweets (maximum 140 characters), vine videos tell stories (roughly six seconds long) and the app ‘Snapchat’ – which allows users to send photos and videos to friends that vanish after 10 seconds or so – sees 350 million photos shared daily (as reported in September 2013).

Employees are bombarded with information every day. Just consider how many emails they receive and remember that too much information to handle is just a Google search away (searching for the term ‘internal communication’ provided about 71, 000, 000 hits in 0.25 seconds).

This is where visual communications can step in – and have been stepping up as a notable trend for internal communications in 2014. Visual communications are all about placing the focus on how the content is represented – giving the representation almost as much importance as the actual words used. Ask yourself, would you rather read a 50-page report or a five page summary with visuals that make some of the more complex points clearer?…”

To read the full article please look out for our Spring issue of AQ magazine. Until then you can read our last issue here.