Is the Internet going to video?

Some people certainly think so.

I was listening to an Internet “guru” the other day, who basically sees the future of the Internet as one video clip after another. Fahrenheit 451, here we come!

But here’s a counterargument from just last year:

People are constantly putting videos up with little to no content that can REALLY benefit their intended audience. They just don’t understand that nobody’s going to sit there for 20 or 30 minutes listening to them go on and on and on without having real content. These video sales pitches are just becoming overwhelming on social media. It’s happening on Facebook too; I haven’t quite seen it on Twitter yet, but it’s coming. And with Instagram Story, you’re going to see more and more and more of that. Here’s what it boils down to: How do we make what we do relevant — especially to the audience that we’re trying to reach?

There is a lot of video on YouTube, but most of it is pointless. Tell me: Does anyone who isn’t a bored 13 year-old really want to watch Pewdiepie? 

Video has its place. As I’ve admitted many times, YouTube is absolutely great if you want to learn how to fix your leaky commode. I also prefer video for things like Photoshop instruction, which are inherently visual.

But for most objectives, in the fields of both instruction and entertainment, YouTube-style video provides little or no improvement over text (unless your audience is completely illiterate).

And in many cases, text is demonstrably superior. You can skim through a page of text. Skimming through a 20-minute YouTube video, on the other hand, is almost impossible.