Changing priorities in discovering new online content: from Search Engines to Social Media

By Andy Woodruff

The answer is obvious – we rely on social media more than we do on direct search. Even I didn’t realise this change in my own habits until I came across an article which mentions that younger consumers are increasingly relying more on their social media networks to discover content.

A study conducted by blinkx (http://www.blinkx.com/) saw 43% of 18-24 year olds in UK choose Social Media over Search to find online content. It seems that every future generation adapts better to technology and the way technology is put into use, depends largely on how they want to use it.

With a huge amount of content that is available online, it’s only natural that people are devising their own means for skimming this available information. For example, on Twitter we follow people who we think are interesting, or those we idolise. We want to see and share information that they are sharing, and consider this information more relevant, timely and trustworthy.

“Around 85% of us like sharing content after watching,” says Suranga Chandratillake, founder of Blinkx.

This behaviour can also explain why some viral videos go viral immediately, or others lie dormant for an unknown amount of time before they are spotted, and then go viral. If someone in a peer group shares something they consider ‘interesting’, it is bound to be re-shared by others with similar interest.

According to emarketer’s forecast, from 2014 onwards, search engines are going to see a decline (around 0.8%) in their share of digital ad spending in the UK, which will continue to decline (by around 2%) every year.

Even though these statistics point to a new growing trend in digital content sharing, search engines themselves are not going to lose relevance. Searching through traditional search mediums (search engines), is increasingly turning into a leisure activity when people have ample amount of time in hand or for services when they are in a hurry. Social media will continue to act as a trusted search engine for interesting content that stands out from the clutter.

What this means for brands is that they will need to pay more attention to creating content that can be easily grasped and fun to share. With like Vine already making their presence felt, and different figures coming in support of the impact that videos have on Internet, in coming years we are going to see an increase in the amount of Video content utilised by companies.

About the author

Andy Woodruff, Managing Director at Webvideos ltd. Webvideos is a London based internet company providing a full range of services, from websites, to internet marketing strategies, custom-made mobile ready videos and deep technical implementation.

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