An infographic is a visually representation of information. They show complicated information a lot faster than if you were to read an essay on the same subject. It’s often easier for people to remember statistics if the data has been presented to them visually. Here is an infographic of infographics:
The tool has launched allowing you to represent Facebook and Twitter data in various ways, or for the more geeky among us, using APIs from these sites and then visually representing that data. They intend to use many more sources as they grow including ESPN, The Economist and various social media sites.
If you’re just messing around on the site, a good place to start is to “twitterize yourself” or create your Facebook Monster. By taking information from your Facebook account, it works out if you are, for example, wearing glasses in your profile picture and then changes the picture to suit. Here is mine... I have the majority of my data on private so I think it struggled somewhat.
And my Twitter graphic... not sure when I became a hard-core gamer, maybe Spyro counts?
After you’ve familiarised yourself with the concept, there’s a few others on there you can create but at the moment there’s not a whole lot of freedom for creating custom infographics yet, so you’d still need a designer but it’s definitely a start and perhaps a good way to show your Facebook page data internally if nothing else? It’s a good thing to keep your eye on and I for one, am a big fan and I hope they keep expanding and allowing you to produce different infographics. Check it out!
For further information on Visual.ly, there's a great article on Forbes.