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From 17th century-inspired luxe designs to blinding bright colors, 2012 was a bold year for fashion. As we look forward to next year's wave of fashion trends, we've reviewed the most clicked on products in Luminate's Product-in-the-Picture* feature over the last year.
The Six Most Popular Trends of 2012
1. Bright Colors
With all the neon showcased last year, 2012 felt more like a flashback to 1982. Bright outfits, including neon jeans and neon jewelry, attracted twice the normal click-through-rates than darker colored items. In a brilliant marketing move, Nike outfitted Summer Olympians with eye-catching neon yellow track shoes which generated as much brand attention as formal sponsors to the London games. Touted as "the most-visible color to the human eye," neon colors were seemingly everywhere!
Even in the warm summer months, ankle booties were the preferred fashion statement across the shoe category, generating 40% higher click-through-rates than the average shoe product. Nearly every major designer introduced their own spin on this classic look. Popular features included buckles, airy peep-toe, and soft suede.
4. Golden Baroque
The Baroque period, known for extravagant embellishments and clothing with ornate gold designs, was the inspiration behind last year's more decadent looks. Textured fabrics and detailed colorful stitching were popular on the red carpet and runway shows around the world. The bold design was a sure-fire statement piece for brave fashionistas.5. Bib Necklaces
6. Unique Bikinis
*Luminate's Product-in-the-Picture feature helps viewers "shop the look" in their favorite fashion and entertainment images.
Each holiday season brings innumerable “year in review” retrospectives, kind of like the media world’s fruit cake. In a digital society where 141 characters verges on endless, year in review articles have increasingly given way to all-visual year in review in photos. They range from the carefully curated Wall Street Journal to the impactful CNN, from the appropriately expansive Atlantic (in three parts) to the frivolous Buzzfeed.
Instead of adding to the “year in review, in pictures” fray, I thought I’d do something a little different, and take a look at the “year in pictures, in review.” After all, 2012 marked the year images emerged as the next big trend, even coining a new buzzword, the imagesphere.
The year in images dawned with an explosive start when Facebook announced it would acquire Instagram. While many fixated on the $1 billion price tag, implications for Facebook’s mobile strategy, or whirlwind negotiations, I found it fascinating that a company whose essence revolved around relationships between friends, would find irresistible a network whose connections centered on pictures.
This year Lytro began selling its novel plenoptic cameras, enabling you to change a picture’s focus after it was taken. I can’t tell if Lytro is “outrageously incredible“ or just over-hyped (remember Segway?), but I do know that 2012 marked the first year since I was 12 years old that I didn’t own an SLR, a point n’ shoot, or both. A new camera format combining big sensors and small bodies – called “Micro Four Thirds” – went mainstream, demonstrating that not everyone wants to take every picture with their phone. Yet.
The most widely photographed year in history featured some notable standouts. For example, a grainy 64×64 pixel grayscale image provided the first testimony of the Mars rover Curiosity’s successful landing, prompting gleeful cheers from millions. Felix Baumgartner’s record-setting parachute jump from 128,000 feet captured the world’s attention not only for its daring, but partially by virtue of the 35 cameras used to record the attempt. Likewise, ABC News creatively applied an amazing interactive image to convey the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy.
2011 featured ongoing skirmishes between big technology companies around mobile patents. Remember Apple, RIM and Microsoft buying Nortel’s patent portfolio, then Google acquiring Motorola Mobility, while Apple and Samsung pressed claims and counterclaims? But in 2012, the patent battles shifted from mobile to images, as Apple, Google, Facebook and Samsung combined forces to buy Kodak’s digital imaging patents for $525 million.
Finally, December delivered something of a photo finish, as the imagesphere convulsed in a series of interrelated corporate moves:
The prospect of Instagram, Twitter, Yahoo!, and Dropbox – not to mention Apple, Google, and Facebook – all jockeying for control of our photos reminds me of the early internet browser wars fought between Microsoft and Netscape. Except these “photo wars” involve a trillion dollars worth of market capitalization, with potential consequences for over a billion users.
According to the Chinese calendar, we’re wrapping up the Year of the Dragon, but I think it could equally qualify as the Year of the Image.
[Originally published at forbes.com.]
I took one for the team this week, trekking out to idyllic Deer Park, Utah, to attend Digiday’s Brand Summit. Speakers included executives, marketers and social media leaders from Kellogg’s, General Mills, Nielsen, Nestle, Fox, Turner, MGM Grand, TaylorMade, Saatchi, OMD and others. If I can exclude the conversations about snow conditions and s’mores technique, there were three big recommendations coming from the podium. And perhaps I bring a certain bias to the discussion but photos-as-messaging-unit was a recurrent theme throughout.
1. Target your audience, not the hot new platform
Montana Triplett, director of digital for Hennessey, acknowledged the huge audience and excitement around Pinterest, but it’s not on her list of priority media channels for 2013. “Moms pinning pictures of Halloween costumes aren’t our demo.” (She does, however, expect Instagram to play a big role for Hennessey in 2013, now that the service offers a mechanism to avoid the under 21 crowd.)
Asked if the search era is giving way to a social media era, iCrossing president & CEO Don Scales cautioned against strategies that are built to serve a distribution channel instead of a brand story. Neither search nor social defines the current era, he said: “It’s a content era.”
In a conversation about mobile advertising strategies MGM Grand’s Donna Goff put it most concisely: “Target humans not the device.” Technologies and platforms change fast but your customers are still humans, motivated by the same kinds of things that motivated them 20 years ago.
2. Tailor your message to the medium, not your comfort zoneTo paraphrase the comments of several speakers: Whatever question you ask your agency, its answer will involve online videos and rich, beautiful imagery for your corporate website. It may not be the right tool for the job, but it’s right there at the top of the toolbox.
Meanwhile, according to Jim Cuene, interactive marketing director at General Mills, “In social media video isn’t awesome – but images are.” Hennessey’s Triplett echoed the sentiment: “A photo of a liquor bottle works better for us than a celebrity video.” Two more examples of brands behaving like publishers: Create content, give your customers access to it, make more of whatever they liked. Cuene pointed out that General Mills has been exercising its publishing muscles for nearly 100 years, starting with Betty Crocker cookbooks back in the 1920s.
3. Emotional rewards can be as powerful as monetary ones
To hear some pundits talk about success in social media (such as this one,) you’d think the secret to digital marketing is scavenger hunts with cash handouts for the winners. So it was refreshing to be reminded by several experienced social-marketing practitioners that emotional rewards – a reply in twitter, say, or the opportunity to see the photo you submitted on the brand’s homepage – inspire participation as effectively as prize money. Many of us, it turns out, want fame more than fortune.
And building an emotional connection drives more value for your brand. Traffic from Hennessey’s social programs has a lower bounce rate and results in longer time-spent on their sites than traffic from paid ads.
Digiday’s photo contest was its own case-in-point. They asked conference attendees to post pictures to Instagram and Twitter marked #Digiday, and one participating photographer would win an iPhone lens attachment. I was surprised to see two guys posting pictures from their Samsung phones. “What’ll you do with the iPhone accessory if you win?” I asked, and they shrugged their shoulders. Turns out they just got a kick out of seeing their pictures projected above the stage during breaks. I’ll admit that barely qualifies as “fame” but it was enough to do the trick.
U.S. consumers rushed to Thanksgiving week deals, taking advantage of irresistible holiday specials. Black Friday retail sales were up 13% from last year and Cyber Monday sales jumped 30%, according to International Business machines Corp. From the newest razor-thin LED TVs to exquisite fashion gems, shoppers are increasingly making purchases online.
Luminate's Product-in-the-Picture feature helps viewers "shop the look" in their favorite fashion and entertainment images. Across Luminate's fashion publishers the last week, we saw increased shopping interest in two antithetical categories -- Holiday party formal ensembles and warm weather vacation garb.
This winter season's gowns included a wide range of length and sleeve styles. Black Halo's elegant black vented cap sleeve dress was a popular choice on and off the red carpet. Gold silk and sequin dresses by Aidan Mattox and Nicole Miller received the most clicks from shoppers who wanted to stand out at their big events. For shoppers looking to escape to warmer climates, Nanette Lepore's floral maxi dress was the preferred vacation uniform.
And let's not forget the men! The most clicked men's product was Christian Louboutin's rollerboy spikes pony hair shoes. Now those will definitely stand out in the crowd.
It is that time of year again, where we get together with our family and dear friends to give thanks and to eat of course! Here at Luminate we are passionate about our food, and we wanted to share a few recipes of our own - from traditional to unique, there is something for everyone.
Mouseover the dinner table to explore.
On Tuesday we gathered 60 friends from the publishing community – execs from Conde Nast, Viacom, Thompson Reuters, Wenner, NBC, American Media, Time Warner, Getty, Dow Jones, Gannett, the IAB and others – for an afternoon deep-dive into the rising role of image content as publishing moves to digital and mobile platforms. Our first “Imagesphere Summit.” (Official release here.)
Our CFO suspected it was just an excuse to order Luminate-logo’d pillows. But most people, I think, actually came to learn from industry peers how to hone their image strategies. Given that more than a third of the web’s pixels are image content, 70% of social media activity revolves around a photo, and many of these publishers are seeing upwards of 60% of their pageviews coming from photo galleries, there’s an eagerness across the industry to figure out the image opportunity.
Steve Rubel, EVP at Edelman, kicked off the programming. He identified a schism dividing the landscape of digital publishers. On one side the “Continental Content Divide” publishers focus on “spreadable media,” using infographics, lists and slideshows – short, frequent and easy-to-share content nuggets – to fuel success among social media consumers. On the other side of the divide are practitioners of “drillable media,” where depth, context and rich visual experience are designed to pull readers deeper into the story. At the center of both approaches (represented by the Play Button in his Media Cloverleaf) is content that directly addresses the visual culture. (More at Steve’s site.)
Paul Asel, managing partner at Nokia Growth Partners (and a Luminate board member) shared a global perspective: How mobile and touch screens are accelerating growth of the Imagesphere. Half the photos ever taken by humankind, he told us, were taken in the past 2 years. He also shared a prediction about the future of digital photos: Today if you hand a non-touch screen device to a child, she’ll ask, Is it broken? Soon all of us will ask the same question if we find ourselves starting at a static image.
Bob Lisbonne, Luminate’s CEO, presented a deck entitled “Welcome to the Imagesphere.” He posited a theory of photo evolution, where the Kodak Era has given way to the Imagesphere – a new phase in which technology has streamlined our ability to take, share and interact with photos. Members of Facebook alone upload more than 300 million pictures a day, and our sprawling social graphs mean that we each (on average) have access to nearly 100,000 photos shared by friends. Imagesphere technologies have enabled digital and mobile publishers to use photos in 3 new ways – as repositories of hidden information that can be revealed with the swipe of a mouse; as drivers or richer experiences; and as a new paradigm for navigation. An effective image strategy creates publisher value via more inventory, higher user engagement, and new monetization.
Bob also proposed that we borrow a concept from fighter jets, "heads-up display," to imagine a richer experience for digital photos. Heads-up displays allow fighter pilots to watch their gauges without looking down at the instrument panel – relevant data appears as an overlay to visual content outside the windscreen. When an image has "stopping power" and sparks reader demand for more information, don't force them to look down, look elsewhere on the page, or (god forbid) click off your site to get answers elsewhere. Interactive images can mimic the "heads-up display," providing your readers answers right inside the image experience.
Rafat Ali, founder and former editor-in-chief of PaidContent (now doing the same at Skift), interviewed Steve Carpi, the global director of production Fantasy Interactive. They discussed FI’s partnership with Gannett around the recent re-design of USA TODAY. Touch screens are training media consumers to navigate by way of photos instead of headlines, Steve said, and websites that steal from tablet design will be better positioned for the next wave of mobile and desktop user experience. It’s an approach he called “tactile design.” Rafat provoked an interesting discussion around two questions: One, now that every story is an image, are image galleries dead? Two, with images moving into such a central role in publishing, will important stories will be lost if they don't have a compelling picture to pull in readers? (An audience member from Getty volunteered to help!)
Advice from Liz Coughlin, former head of the entertainment sites at Yahoo (now at Young Hollywood): You can either try to push your readers to content types that you know how to monetize (eg, articles with large IAB units) or you can figure out how to monetize the content they love, which tends to be your photos.
Brandon Whightsel, design director for WSJ Digital, started with a shot of the newspaper in 1889, the year it began publishing. Beyond turning a five-column format into six columns and the introduction of those iconic woodcut images, though, the paper’s look and feel evolved only gradually until 2003 when it introduced color photos. WSJ Digital, however, has evolved at a radically faster pace. A large photo element across the top of the website – the "Assassination Module," Whightsel called it – was once reserved only for very, very big stories. The importance of images on the tablet experience, however, has changed the design rules. Large photos now anchor many digital and tablet stories, even when no one has been assassinated. Whightsel tipped his hat to Rupert Murdoch as an outspoken advocate for the migration to a more visual approach to publishing.
Offir Gutelzon, business development VP at Getty, talked about the potential unleashed by image metadata. Once a publisher knows what’s inside each image, it can automatically deliver photos relevant to every story and can attach ads targeted by image context.
Luminate CTO James Everingham wrapped up the afternoon with a sneak peek at some products Luminate will launch later this fall – support for new content types, upgraded social features, new controls for publishers and users, and some snazzy functionality for tablet users.
Throughout the day there were more questions than the speakers had time to answer. I guess we’ll just have to do another one of these soon.
(Originally posted on ChasNote)
In November 1995 I had a job selling ad space for tech magazines. One afternoon the office fax machine scrolled out 12 pages worth of insertion orders from a software company I’d been pitching for two months, and I did a happy-dance in my cubicle. With those orders, the company had committed to running a full-page ad in every issue the magazine would publish in all of 1996. I called the client to confirm the mailing address for our traffic coordinator and the creative instructions — right-reading film, emulsion-side-down — and got the further good news that the ad creative was already on its way in a FedEx pouch.The ad creative. A single photo with ad copy that would serve as the campaign’s creative all year.
I don’t miss the inky mess I’d make of my hands when I had to change the cartridge on that fax machine. But they sure were simpler times in the world of advertising and publishing.
Back then the brands on the other end of those fax machines could afford to sink significant time and resources into the production of each creative unit. Hiring a renowned photographer, a model, a team of set designers, makeup artists, art directors and post-production editors might set them back $25,000 for a single photo for a single print ad. But given the enormous role played by that one photograph — it would likely anchor a $15-million national ad campaign across many magazines for months — the time and dollars invested in getting it exactly right could fairly be called a rounding error. Twenty-five thousand dollars in creative development divided by 15 million in media spend is less than two-tenths of a percentage point.
While the math still works for brands advertising in glossy fashion magazines, there is trouble in paradise. Or rather, paradise has moved to the Internet. If brands want to engage with consumers online (which, more and more, is where their consumers spend time) they need to compete with publishers and social media sites that refresh their bins of eye-candy every few minutes. By the time they’ve art directed, developed and shipped a piece of right-reading, emulsion-side-down film to a publisher, Gangnam Style has been replaced with parody videos of Gangnam Style.
The digital landscape changes fast, and pictures are a main catalyst. Netscape released the first commercially-available web browser in 1994 and fewer than 15 years later Flickr housed more than 6 billion photos — more than 450 times the number of photos held by the Library of Congress. In 2009 more than 2.5 billion camera-enabled devices were in the hands of would-be photogs and in the course of a year would go on to take ten percent of all photos ever taken by humans. Instagram, the photo-sharing apps for smartphones that Facebook bought earlier this year for $1 billion, measures its customer engagement in uploads-per-second; 60 uploads per second, back in the quaint old days of December 2011, pre-acquisition, and before comScore released data showing Instagram’s daily usage is now greater than Twitter’s. By early 2012 Facebook members were uploading to the site more than 300 million photos every single day.
This slurry of data signals “the end of the Kodak Era, where we took photos birthdays and vacations, and shared them only with a small group of friends,” says Bob Lisbonne, CEO of Luminate (my boss) and former SVP for Netscape’s browser group in 1990s. “We’ve now entered a phase in which visual communication is supplanting the written word — what some are calling the dawn of the Imagesphere.”
(Source: 1000 Memories Blog.)
But it’s not taking or uploading pictures that should worry marketers. It’s the fact that there are consumers on the other end of these photos — viewing them, engaging with them, and generally spending more time with images they see on Facebook, Tumblr or Pinterest than they used to spend reading glossy magazines that arrived on the newsstand once a month. comScore’s Mobile Metrix 2.0 survey says Facebook users are spending more than seven hours per month visiting the site by way of mobile phones alone. Om Malik, founder and editor in chief of GigaOM, asserts that photos are the fuel driving the mass migration to social media:
Malik writes, “Photos are the reason many of us continue to engage with Facebook. Facebook has tried many verbs to increase and maintain our engagement with the service — read, listen, watch. But in the end, it’s the photos that work wonders for the Menlo Park, Calif.-based social-networking giant.”
Research from a team at Harvard Business School supports Malik’s claim. A 2009 study finds that 70% of all activity inside social networks revolves around photos. Keep in mind, that was in 2009 — when Facebookers were uploading a mere 31 million photos a day, and My Space was still relevant enough to be included in a study of social-media sites.
These millions of new photos — or at least those shared by friends and organizations we choose to follow — are pushed to us each day in an unending, ever-updating stream of visual storytelling. We watch our friends’ kids grow up, in near real-time, and news stories unfold throughout the day as fresh photos replace those from hours or minutes before. Publishers, too, are responding to their readers’ growing appetite for image content with larger, high-res photography and the gallery-ification of stories as disparate as celebrity news, travel destinations and business analysis.
Roughly one-third of pixel real estate on the web is image content, according to the Wall Street Journal, and those images get old fast. In its first three days on the Internet, the average photo has attracted half the total views it will ever attract. If you look at content shared via social media platforms rather than the entire web, the half-life for content is measured in hours not days.
(Source: Bitly Blog.)
And there lies the rub for brands. The changing dynamic of media consumption has changed the rules of marketing in three fundamental respects.
One: “Professional grade” doesn’t get the mileage it once did.
Sure, the list of most-viewed clips on YouTube includes Justin Beiber music videos, but it also includes quirky independent interviews of people waiting in line for iPhones and home-movie sensations such as ‘Charlie Bit My Finger… Again.’ The same goes for photos. Consumer interest no longer tracks with traditional definitions of “photo quality.”
There was a time when all media was professional media, created and distributed by large publishing companies. It only made sense, then, for advertisers to polish their creative units to a professional, high-production-value shine. Good advertising should always seek to imitate the editorial content around it; ‘native advertising’ has been around long before the Internet. There’s mounting evidence, however, that recall rates for TV spots and display ads in magazines are declining, despite the professional expertise that goes into their creation. Nowadays relevance trumps production value.
Now that amateur photographers have gained access to distribution — Google might lead you to an independent photoblog, Instagram might introduce you to some great photos from an excellent hobbyist — consumers are dividing the world of photos into ‘interesting’ and ‘not interesting,’ not ‘professional’ and ‘amateur.’ Interesting no longer requires the talents of a professional.
Two: Attention Deficit Disorder has become a lifestyle choice.
A trend that’s probably as old as the publishing industry has achieved fever pitch: Content miniaturization. Articles get shorter and shorter, and readers still can’t get to the end of them. I mean, who has time to read the entire tweet anymore? Audience ratings seem to suggest that frequency and freshness of content are trumping quality and depth. In a world where tapping our thumbs on the Instagram icon on our iPhones unleashes an endless stream of photos taken in the last four hours, looking again at last month’s print ad for Prada strikes many modern consumers as boring.
Three: Consumption is giving way to interaction.
There’s something that’s even more popular than posting pictures: Liking them and commenting on them. It’s a sign that we define ourselves not only through our own pictures, but also through association with the pictures of others. It’s this instinct that explains the growth of Pinterest, the social network that rocketed to 10 million users faster than any social network before it. It’s not built on photo-sharing in the sense that Instagram or Facebook are (“Hey, check out my pictures”); it’s about photo-assembling (“I’ve collected these pictures so you understand who I am and what I care about”). Forty-one percent of us, says new research from Pew, find photos and videos online and re-post them on sites designed for sharing with others. It’s one of the most popular things we do on the Internet.
In order for brands to embrace these new platforms for photo mixing and mashing, they need to get comfortable with their images being separated from the carefully assembled context of yesterday’s print ad or the Spring catalog, and being extracted from the traditional models that protect ownership rights and pay out talent royalties. Your customers want to befriend you and play with you, but that game is going to be on their terms.
So what’s a brand to do?
The creative departments at traditional agencies simply can’t adapt to this new world, says John Battelle, founder of Federated Media (disclosure: I was his co-founder there) and the first managing editor of Wired Magazine. The old rhythm of branded storytelling — devise the Big Idea, take a month to convert it into an art piece of advertising, and then enlist the media department to implant it deep into the skulls of consumers through mass media — is losing its efficacy. Agencies will continue to find success producing professional-grade assets and distributing them around tent-pole events, but they’re ill-equipped for the in-between times, the 363 days a year that don’t feature the Super Bowl or the Oscars. The beefy muscles built up over years of pumping out thirty-second TV spots and full-page print ads aren’t well suited for the marathon running required by lasting social-media conversations. “Brands need to catch up to media,” he says, and they’re going to need some help.
“Most creative agencies don’t see themselves as ongoing, real time publishers — that’s the business of, well, publishers,” Battelle continued. “I predict the two will merge over time — agencies must become more like publishers, and publishers are going to have to learn how to service brands like agencies do.”
Federated Media says the solution is a distributed, crowdsourced model for branded content creation. It invites advertisers to tap the talents of “the world’s largest creative department,” the 30 million some-odd bloggers affiliated with FM, from the vast army of small WordPress publishers to large-reach sites such as Boing Boing or Notcot.
(Source: Tom Ryabo, featured on Intel’s My Life Scoop.)
Three years ago, David Veneski, Intel’s director of US media, took FM up on the offer for a program called My Life Scoop. While the site features periodic updates on products like Intel-powered Ultrabooks, the bulk of the content is created by a broad array of independent content producers who speak the native language of Intel’s customers — those young, affluent people who seek out cutting-edge tech gadgets to enhance their lives. The imagery that accompanies the site’s content is not highly produced. Instead the emphasis is on fit, tone and relevance — photos and videos collected, curated and presented to My Life Scoop readers at a fraction of the cost associated with a professional shoots. The content is on-message (‘Sponsors of Tomorrow’ and ‘Ultrabook’), it’s frequently refreshed and it’s inviting social amplification. Nearly 50,000 Twitterers are following the My Life Scoop feed, and 100,000 Facebook members have Liked it.
“It’s important to us that we provide an authentic and compelling brand story for our target audience,” says Veneski. “We find that visuals and imagery, both photos and video, alongside written content, offers a way of telling a story that is more interesting to the people we want to reach.”
(Source: GE’s Tumblr.)
General Electric has taken an even more stripped-down approach. On Tumblr they’ve created (with help from the Barbarian Group) a corporate site that is nothing but photos. You’ll only find text only where it’s used to caption or hashtag a photo. What’s initially surprising is that airplane engines, smart LED bulb testing facilities, and gardens decked out with PulseArc Multi-Vapor metal halide lamps are quite photogenic, especially when they’ve been dolled up with an Instagram filter. Without set designers, models or professional photographers, GE is telling its story with frequent, low-cost iPhone pictures. More importantly, GE fans are spreading this story to their networks, with comments and hashtags included.
And the ‘interactivity’ isn’t just something that occurs after the brand unleashes the content — GE uses Twitter to invite its social-media followers to pick the locations of future photos.
(Source: GE’s Twitter Account.)
Without breaking the bank or getting reckless with its brand, GE found a path to social-media relevance. The brand is leaning into the consumer acceptance of spontaneous, inexpensive photo storytelling, which isn’t just reducing production costs either. It’s giving GE a stream of highly sharable content nuggets to satisfy the short-attention-span types and the sharers.
In other words, they’re speaking our language — the one in which every missive is worth a thousand words.
Just in case you missed the news from Mark Zuckerburg during TechCrunch's Disrupt conference in mid September, Instagram hit 100M users and 5B photos. It comes as no surprise given the popularity of the mobile app. When questioned what Facebook might do with the popular app, Mark Zuckerburg responded with, "We want to help them as much as we can. We have no agenda in terms of making them go into our infrastructure." This is good news for us, as consumers, because we can continue to use this easy platform to take, touch up and share images with friends as it is today. So plan on only more growth coming from Instagram with tighter integration with Facebook, now that the merger is complete.
In additional Instagram news, last week comScore released a mobile user study that shows Instagram passing Twitter in daily active users. While Twitter's user base is much larger, especially when you count desktop users, Instagram is proving to be used more.
Graph from Business Insider
Not only does Instagram have more daily users, they spend more time within the app. The typical time spent with Instagram is 257 minutes while Twitter users spend only 170 minutes per day. That is 4.2 hours vs 2.8 hours a day! Of course people don't spend 4 straight hours on Instagram. It's usually 15mins here and 10mins there, but those few minutes add up over the course of a day.
Between the user growth and time spent, Instagram is one more proof point that we are a visual culture and spent more time sharing images than text.