Communicating Through Imagery - US - December 2015


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Mintel

$ 3996

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More than 80% of Americans are communicating with others through text, email, or social media. As smartphone and tablet ownership increases, people are more likely to send abbreviated messages and lean on images to indicate tone and provide nuance. Although more than half of US adults have a general awareness of digital images such as selfies, emoticons, and emojis, far fewer are using these images regularly. Younger consumers are more likely to use images in their communications, but there is significant interest across age groups in connecting with brands using emojis and other image types.

Table of Content

Overview

What you need to know
Definition

Executive Summary

Figure 1: Visual communication behaviors done in the past month, September 2015
The issues
Brands may find difficulties in using emoji language
Figure 2: Emoji fluency, novice users or users with no knowledge of emojis, by key demographics, September 2015
Younger consumers shift their attention to niche social platforms
For digital images, usage and familiarity are sensitive to age
Figure 3: Familiarity with types of images, by age, September 2015
The opportunities
Consumers open to further use of branded emojis
Figure 4: Communicating with companies using emojis, September 2015
Both men and women interested in photo sharing
Figure 5: Online communication behaviors, by gender, September 2015
What it means

The Market – What You Need to Know

Most Americans use some type of digital image to communicate
Internet usage and social media participation escalate
Increase in mobile methods of communication inspire image sharing

The Image-sharing Market

Vast majority are familiar with – and use – imagery in communication
Figure 6: Visual communication familiarity, September 2015
Figure 7: Visual communication behaviors done in the past month, September 2015
Image sharing on the rise
Figure 8: Attitudes toward posting content, April 2011-June 2015

Market Factors

Time spent online continues to increase
Figure 9: Time spent online at home in the last seven days, April 2004-June 2015
Figure 10: Number of unique websites visited at home in the last seven days, April 2007-June 2015
Social networking an important component of internet usage
Figure 11: Social media usage, by gender, age, and race/Hispanic origin, April 2014-June 2015
Strong growth in smartphone and tablet ownership
Figure 12: Personal ownership of consumer electronics, July 2013* versus April 2015
Multimedia sharing primarily done on mobile devices
Figure 13: Activities conducted online in past three months, PC versus smartphone versus tablet, April 2015

Key Developments – What You Need to Know

Companies use emojis to communicate with consumers
Image heavy sites spur ecommerce activity
Communicating with images can encourage open conversation
Next level emojis
VR becomes a reality

What’s Working?

Companies introduce branded emojis
Emojis become transactional
Shopping with images
Image use encourages difficult conversations
Brands talk to teens in their language
Figure 14: “It’s a Trap,” public service announcement, August 2015
YouTube is Moms’ go-to for how-to
Images increase conversions for the travel industry

What’s Struggling?

Emojis lack diversity and realism
Brands struggle to make sense of social chatter
Millennials may be turned-off by brands’ overuse of emojis

What’s Next?

VR brings images to life
The Facebook “dislike” button
Personalized emojis
Emoji passwords
QWERTY keyboards incorporate emojis
Delivery services get even faster

Image-sharing Platforms – What You Need to Know

Facebook reigns
YouTube growing branded and original content
Pinterest and Instagram add more options for advertisers
Snapchat rebuffs buyout bids

Image-sharing Platforms

Facebook
YouTube
Pinterest
Tumblr
Instagram
Vine
Snapchat

The Image-sharing Consumer

Overview
Figure 15: Social media usage, September 2015
The Facebook user
Figure 16: Facebook user demographics, by gender, age, race/Hispanic origin, household income, and parental status, September 2015
Figure 17: Visual communication behaviors of Facebook users, September 2015
The YouTube user
Figure 18: YouTube user demographics, by gender, age, race/Hispanic origin, household income, and parental status, September 2015
Figure 19: Visual communication behaviors of YouTube users, September 2015
The Instagram user
Figure 20: Instagram user demographics, by gender, age, race/Hispanic origin, household income, and parental status, September 2015
Figure 21: Visual communication behaviors of Instagram users, September 2015
The Pinterest user
Figure 22: Pinterest user demographics, by gender, age, race/Hispanic origin, household income, and parental status, September 2015
Figure 23: Visual communication behaviors of Pinterest users, September 2015
The Snapchat user
Figure 24: Snapchat user demographics, by gender, age, race/Hispanic origin, household income, and parental status, September 2015
Figure 25: Visual communication behaviors of Snapchat users, September 2015
The Tumblr user
Figure 26: Tumblr user demographics, by gender, age, race/Hispanic origin, household income, and parental status, September 2015
Figure 27: Visual communication behaviors of Tumblr users, September 2015
The Vine user
Figure 28: Vine user demographics, by gender, age, race/Hispanic origin, household income, and parental status, September 2015
Figure 29: Visual communication behaviors of Vine users, September 2015

The Consumer – What You Need to Know

Most Americans use digital forms of communication
A majority aware of popular types of digital images
Emojis used to indicate tone and save time, but can be ambiguous
Interest in branded emojis and emoji passwords

Types of Digital Communication Used

Text messages and emails are common forms of digital communication
Figure 30: Digital communication behaviors, September 2015
Women more likely to comment and pin
Figure 31: Online communication behaviors, by gender, September 2015
Age differences more pronounced for social media usage
Figure 32: Online communication behaviors, by age, September 2015
Black respondents less likely to use online forms of communication
Figure 33: Online communication behaviors among 18-44-year-olds, by race, September 2015

Familiarity and Usage of Digital Imagery

A majority of Americans aware of selfies, emoticons, and memes
Figure 34: Familiarity with types of images, September 2015
Women more familiar with selfies, emoticons, and emojis
Figure 35: Familiarity with types of images, by gender, September 2015
Familiarity with digital images decreases with age
Figure 36: Familiarity with types of images, by age, September 2015
Familiarity doesn’t equate with usage
Figure 37: Familiarity with types of images and usage of digital images, September 2015
Young women are key users
Figure 38: Usage of digital images, by gender and age, September 2015
Blacks 18-44 prefer emojis to emoticons
Figure 39: Usage of digital images, among 18-44-year-olds, by race, September 2015

Reasons for Communicating with Images

Image use perceived as faster, more fun than using words
Figure 40: Reasons for using digital images, September 2015
Woman just want to have fun
Figure 41: Reasons for using digital images, by gender, September 2015

Understanding Emojis

Majority have little or no experience with emojis
Figure 42: Emoji fluency, advanced or fluent users, by key demographics, September 2015
Emojis take on many meanings
Figure 43: Translating emojis, September 2015
Figure 44: Translating emojis, September 2015
Emojis used to indicate tone and save time
Figure 45: Emoji usage, September 2015
25-34s more likely to use emojis in a professional context
Figure 46: Emoji usage, by age, September 2015

Attitudes toward Emojis

Emojis seen as a good option for passwords
Figure 47: Attitudes toward emoji usage as passwords, by age, September 2015
Half believe emoji use can be detrimental to traditional communication
Figure 48: Attitudes toward the overuse of emojis, all versus 25-34-year-olds, September 2015

Commercial Use of Images

Potential for transactional use of emojis
Figure 49: Interest in commercial use of emojis, September 2015
Emojis more likely to get a brand noticed than liked
Figure 50: Interest in commercial use of emojis, September 2015
Companies that use emojis should have emoji-using customers
Figure 51: Communicating with companies using emojis, September 2015

Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

Data sources
Consumer survey data
Consumer qualitative research
Abbreviations and terms
Abbreviations
Terms

Appendix - Market

Figure 52: Attitudes toward posting content, April 2011-June 2015
Figure 53: Time spent online at home in the last seven days, April 2004-June 2015
Figure 54: Number of unique websites visited at home in the last seven days, April 2007-June 2015

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