On January 9th 2007, Steve Jobs took to the stage and revealed the iPhone, marking a major step forward in the smartphone revolution, and changing how we would communicate for years to come. In his announcement, Jobs promised three things, “a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough internet communications device.”
The introduction of the iPhone transformed how people interacted with the digital world, sparking a transition from desktop to mobile as both browsing the web and downloading apps became faster and easier. Safari allowed people to access full web pages as if they were accessing them from a desktop computer, and the app store streamlined the download process. These improvements ensured content was widely accessible and available at a much faster speed.
Instagram made its debut soon after, coinciding with the boom of smartphone users. As social media gained in popularity, (in just the first week of its release, Instagram had been downloaded a staggering 100,000 times) video content became more accessible than ever. With video and animation being made available everywhere in such a high-speed environment, content needed to be snappier, more eye-catching, and have its information communicated to the audience almost immediately to survive.
Upon Siri’s arrival in 2011, accessing content was made even easier. Now, videos could be played instantly with just one voice command. As social media platforms aimed to personalize content, the time people spent seeking out videos themselves diminished, as customized feeds, relevant ads, and ‘for you’ pages effortlessly did all the searching for them. This made way for a whole new era of digital marketing, with brands being able to reach out to and sustain the interest of their target audience.
With the introduction of touchscreen and digital keyboards, the screen resolution of smartphones could be much grander, bringing broadcast-quality content to people’s attention from wherever they may be. With video content on social media being a huge success, brands considered how to optimize content for a screen much smaller than tv, in which detailed or busy imagery wasn’t a problem. Animation on smartphones in comparison benefited from a simpler design, framed to grab people’s attention amongst the new age of digital content.
Social media marketing was now in a league of its own. Companies placed less emphasis on traditional forms of communication such as tv ads, and directed their focus to social media, dedicating millions to content creation and millions more to targeted advertising.
The dawn of the iPhone sprung us into a new age of media consumption and communication, a digital landscape that will continue to flourish as technology evolves with it.
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