It is here to stay, for good.
Illustration by San Enoka on Dribbble
Tweets, blog posts, smoke signals, and cave paintings are essentially the same thing. They are the manifestation of our need to communicate with someone who is not physically close to us at a given time. We have always figured out ways to spread our thoughts in the best way possible with the technology that is available to us while also striving to create new mediums for our messages to travel across.
Most of our communication is now encapsulated in the form of text or audio, but it is time to move forward. Video is the medium of the future.
“Why video? Isn’t it too young of a medium to bet the future of communication on it?”
As the Lindy effect goes, the longer something has existed, the longer it will thrive. There is a strong argument to be made that video is too young, thus it shall not live long, let alone be the medium of the future. While this appears to be true on a surface level it is important to understand that video is not only the best because of its technical advantages, but most importantly because it is the best tool that we have to replicate a natural conversation.
Conversations are old. Very old. If there is one thing that is not changing any time soon is the fact that having conversations with each other is our preferred and more mature mode of communication.
In a face-to-face conversation, the words that are spoken are a very small part of what is being said. Facial expressions, tone of voice, physical changes (blush, sweat, etc.), posture, proximity, and eye contact, are only a few of the hints that help us navigate conversations comfortably. Most of these important pieces of information are lost when we send a text or record an audio message. Think about it, how many times have you misinterpreted a text message because of lack of context?
Video solves most, although not all, of these issues. Anyone with a smartphone can now store their tone of voice and body language in a video and send it to other people with minimal loss of meaning.
Alongside being a better way to compress information than text and audio, video is also incredibly easy to record and consume. Not everyone can sit down and translate their thoughts into a comprehensible essay, but most people are able to explain themselves by talking and making hand gestures. Video allows them to do that.
While encompassing every other medium into one, video is also positioned to be enhanced by future technology. Speech-to-text algorithms are becoming extremely good, allowing us to automatically create subtitles, write essays from what is being said, or even translate a conversation over video in real-time. This means that video can adapt the original message to best suit the receiver, both in terms of language and speed (and probably in other ways that I can’t think of).
The bottomline is: Video is here to stay, for good.
Just like in a few short years millions of people started sending voice messages instead of text, video is the next step in this journey of losing as little meaning as possible when communicating over the web.