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The proliferation of smartphone with increasingly good camera lenses that allow users to take and upload high quality videos and photos 24/7 drives social media engagement increasingly towards visual interaction. The most prominent example that confirmed this trend was the $1 billion acquisition of Instagram by the social network Facebook. Also the social networking site Pinterest has recently seen it value jump by more than 50% to $3.8 billion following its latest round of fundraising (Hotelmarketing.com).

VISUALS PROVIDE HIGHER ENGAGEMENT 

The rise in value of visual social networks reflects that companies release progressively that visual content creates higher and quality engagement with consumers. For instance , on Facebook’s top brand pages, videos are shared up to 12 times more often than plain text messages or links, and photos receive two times as many likes as non visual status updates. Also Pinterest generates now more traffic to external websites than Twitter. Especially DMOs can profit from this development, by assigning their employees the task of being a part time photographer and creating authentic and engaging content about the destination.

VISUAL ADS - THE NEXT BIG THING IN SOCIAL ADVERTISEMENT 

Advertisers are therefore now tapping into the visual social communities to target tehir audiences. In this regard, Facebook’s Instagram announced last week that it started a payed advertisement scheme. Especially tourism providers should keep their eys open, as Instagram is services that is particularly used by travelers. In adition it provides an innovative way of opening up a new channel for mobile marketing. iven that travelers increasingly use their smartphone during the travel, it provides a promising option to market relevant products at the point of consumption.

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