Here at Plotto we're bringing vox pops and video insight into the future by offering a platform to gather privately shared video responses to your market research.

It is estimated more than 2 billion consumers worldwide own a smartphone. And with users becoming increasingly comfortable recording 'selfie-style' videos, the potential to be part of this burgeoning market research trend is huge.

Video and mobile research are fast becoming industry staples and will continue to expand as more outlying companies begin to explore the trend of user generated content.

Since the invention of the cine-camera in 1887, people have been obsessed with moving images. Movies held (and continue to hold) such unrivalled honesty compared to static data because they show a deeper character and give an insight into the 'real' world.

Fast-forward to now: Not much has changed.

Facebook sees at least 100 million hours of video viewing daily. While Twitter has been losing the popularity contest against image- and video-led Instagram, it is now seeking to win back favour with its new live video streaming app Periscope. Snapchat and Vine are enjoying steady demand. And Vloggers are becoming veritable celebrities.

Video is beginning to rule our lives. We are consuming increasingly more data from moving images around us, like LED billboards and display screens.  But it’s not only external advertising that we are exposed to. According to Ofcom, last year almost half of 16-24 year olds were watching on-demand and catch-up TV on their personal devices. And more than a third of internet users view their smartphone as the most important device for getting online.This is a clear shift towards an 'anytime, anyplace' video culture.

As screen-time is woven into our lives, we are encouraged not only to consume vast amounts of video data, but to create it too. The ever accelerating popularity of smartphones means user generated video content is on the up and data sharing in all its forms is becoming ubiquitous.

The appeal is that videos are more personal, more intimate and far more truthful than still pictures. And as for the written word, the advent of the emoji keyboard has seen text of recent years bolstered with little grinning faces to clarify meaning.

We all need to adapt to the growing zeitgeist, lest we get left behind. And here at Plotto, we are at the forefront of an exciting time; the future of video research and storytelling is within reach.

With continually evolving technology in smartphones and tablets, it’s quicker and easier than ever to self-record video. Personal devices are advancing at a rate of knots, with new editions and upgrades hitting the market every year. To name a few, this year alone we will see new releases from Apple, Samsung, Motorola, Nexus, Sony and Microsoft. All with outstanding technological capabilities and each with a high quality camera.

But it's not only that consumers can record endless streams of self-generated video content, they want to. Not so long ago, Twitter's new standalone live video feed app 'Periscope' announced it had accrued 10 million new members within four months. That's ten million people worldwide who choose to have a live broadcast station in their pockets.

The mind boggles.

Of course, Periscope isn't the only publicly available app. Rival 'Meerkat' has garnered a significant following, 'LiveStream' has partnered up with GoPro, Broadcast Me and Hang W/ are consistently popular in the iOS app store, with millions of users worldwide. This year, consumers can even broadcast through Facebook Live.

And while the live broadcasting trend is still in its early adoption stage, the popularity of Youtube is yet another testament to the power of the selfie-style video. The platform sees millions of consumers tuning in to watch their contemporaries reviewing movies, video games, beauty products and personal tech. One of the top trending UK gaming and lifestyle Vloggers ‘KSI’ has almost 12 million subscribers worldwide and since finding fame on Youtube, he has become a musician, writer and TV personality too.

The definitive shift towards on-the-go user generated footage is apparent cross-platform. We see that selfie-style Vlogging is usurping the carefully edited blog post, mobile short-form video is capably contending with typed social media posts and we're increasingly more likely to watch online user generated video testimonials than written product reviews.

And the reason? Honesty.

Studies conclude that 93% of communication is non-verbal [more on this coming in future posts]. The most truthful and honest answers are to be found in facial expressions, body language and tone of voice. This is why we at Plotto believe surveys with video are the only way to conduct meaningful research online today. And while there is a clear time shift from emergent technologies to widespread implementation, this gap is ever decreasing as consumers are quicker and quicker to get on board with new tech.

At Plotto, we're naturally progressing along with burgeoning market research trends to offer you a platform to gather rich, substantive responses from your users.