A Picture Is Worth… $19B?

It appears the answer is yes.  Just not this photo:


The photo above is just a silly snapshot I took, goofing around, while out doing snow coverage during a late season snow storm. It’s not even in focus and I don’t even like selfies, but it captured the emotion of the moment pretty well. That silly photo garnered me well over 500 likes and 50 comments on my Facebook profile. It wasn’t even a pure post or share. All of that interaction took place because I changed my profile photo and my friends saw the notification. The key is, the photo sparked a conversation. It led to interaction in my online social circles. Was that worth something? I think so.

I started a virtual blog-tour while on vacation and stumbled into a great blog called Cultureby.com. Definitely worth a read. I came across a great entry here about photos and their online value. Not going to lie… the statement by blog author Grant McCracken, that Facebook REALLY paid $19B for WhatsApp because of PHOTOS, really blew me away.

We can get into discussions about how we as broadcast or digital meteorologists use pictures, maps, charts graphs, graphics, snapshots, etc., until the cows come home. We should talk about this because social media is a huge and important tool in what we do daily.

Stop and think for a moment about the times you’ve poured your heart and brain into a great forecast with maps and charts and graphs and posted it, just waiting for the masses to rush in to like, share and comment on it, and it didn’t really happen… meanwhile a snapshot of your dog in the snow went nearly viral. It’s not that people don’t like our information. It’s not that people don’t pay attention. But photos GRAB people. And if a company like Facebook is grabbing other companies so they can be the middleman of our “photographic currency,” then there is a lesson to be learned from that in our own social media efforts.

Get the picture?

About Spencer Adkins

I'm the chief meteorologist for WOWK TV CBS 13 in WV, OH and KY. Broadcaster since age 17. Constantly working on ways to reach and grow audiences and have fun along the way.
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