Following Ebay’s announcement last week on the launch of its new ‘image search’ function, it is clear we are all becoming increasingly visually-focused.

This leads to my question: Is text going to become a thing of the past as we rely more on visual elements to communicate with each other and create shortcuts in day-to-day life?

Last year, Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube were among the Top 10 most downloaded free iPhone Apps according to Apple. With all three of these relying on image/video sharing, it is evident that visual communication is very much on trend. This is again highlighted through Facebook, where on average over 60 million emoji’s are posted on timelines and over 5 million are sent on messenger every day. This worldwide emoji movement does not look like it is going to slow down any time soon with the Emoji Movie being released this week.

You may also have noticed the rise of the Meme Feed. Gone are the days of the emoji-less status’ clogging up your Facebook News Feed. We are now well and truly ruled by the Meme Monarchy – and are forever at their service. Some Facebook users now rarely text their friends, instead they communicate with them through tagging them in (funny) memes. One guy took to the internet to voice his pains in his girlfriend refusing to communicate with him in any form that was not a meme (read here). Some memes even ask, ‘if your best friend hasn’t tagged you in a meme all day, are they really your best friend?’

In addition to this and keeping with the visual buzz, Facebook is reportedly working on its own smart speaker, like Amazon’s Echo Show, that will focus on an image display, as opposed to voice recognition.

Companies like Ebay have clearly clocked on to this ever-growing visual trend and are making moves to grow with it in order to say relevant. So, maybe a picture really does speak a thousand words.