I recently clicked on a trending topic hashtag related to some drama or another in teen pop music fandom (#beliebersareherefordirectioners - I didn't bother to look into what exactly happened to trigger the creation of that hashtag), and I noticed an interesting phenomenon. A huge percentage of the people using this hashtag were writing out fairly long messages in the Notes function on their iphone, then tweeting a screenshot of the message. Here's the first example that came up when I searched for it just now.
This is fascinating. This fandom is so entrenched in a medium that only allows for short textual messages that they use images of text to convey longer messages rather than switching to a more conducive medium.
We've seen this before, with the "we are the 99%" signs. At the time I saw it described as a faster and easier alternative to videos, but it's still longer to produce and no less easy to read than actual text. And some people seem to use it quite often on facebook, sharing images of text - even if it's just a brief saying - rather than typing out the text as a whole, which in most cases would totally fit in a facebook status.
The beliebers obviously chose this method so they could share longer-form messages while achieving their goal of trending on twitter. And I suspect the sharing mechanisms of facebook and tumblr are more conducive to sharing photos than straight-out text. I also suspect some of the 99%ers were deliberately trying to add a human face to their stories, although others chose to obscure their faces. In any case, the goal of sharability within the technical limitations of the social network seems to be great enough that it leads people to engage in the objectively ridiculous act of posting a picture of text rather than just typing out the text.
This has me wondering if someday someone is going to invent a new social media network with robust sharing functions that positions its niche as allowing you to share long-form text.