Once upon a time YouTube was home of rich media formats. Today, rich media, as we know it, has evolved and is travelling across the World Wide Web for bigger and better things. Just like a ‘selfie’, it has found its new home on social media platforms and it is here that it is screaming for attention to all who are willing to listen.

More than fifteen years ago, the term rich media had still not been coined, but technologies like video, Java, audio and vector graphic (the 2002 rich media elements) were capturing the attention of marketers and advertisers; due to their potential to connect with target audiences and the possibility they presented in terms of their ability to develop into something bigger and better. Today, we have not only moved from simple expanding banners to interactive and personable experience with rich media, but also into the space of smart screens and droids that allow us to engage with our choice of rich media and personalise our experience on every platform through our choice of channels.

Let’s face it; we have become best friends with our screens. We are captivated with online social interaction and are moving toward a new era where geographical boundaries are no longer as relevant for effective communication. Rich media formats have evolved and become more personal. Let’s take the Christmas e-cards, for example; how many times have you watched the “elfyourself” greeting car d and shared it with your e-mail list, and if Facebook was available back then… can you imagine everyone in the office playing “jingle bells” at lunchtime? It would surely be much more annoying than the ‘ice-bucket challenge’. What is more interesting is that “privacy” is becoming a loose term now, since we have become comfortable sharing personal information through rich media formats with the entire world, through social media.

More and more people are identifying themselves as “global citizens,” and that’s because we’re all more connected than we have ever been before. In Australia, the average Smartphone user opens a handful of apps every day to text friends, check email, use social media and take pictures. In China, WeChat is all of those apps rolled into one and is sometimes the only app consumers’ use. Soon WeChat will be a global phenomenon. Here is a short list of things the app lets people do:

  • Pay bills and manage their bank accounts
  • Order and pay for food
  • Buy clothes and movie tickets
  • Book cabs and pay for them
  • Make doctor’s appointments
  • Post to other social media channels
  • Send money to friends
  • Check in for flights
  • Read the news

WeChat is capturing the Australian imagination as a new way to interact, not only for the Chinese but also for the Australian-Chinese. Today, everything is more rich media centric and, thanks to social media, it has never been more exciting or more cost effective to communicate to millions of people through smart advertising.

By Marija Kovacevic

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