The Rise of Infographic Design

I would like to celebrate my 50th post (any award out there?) by writing about a topic of increasing interest in the design field.
With the dawn of the "visual" social networks (especially Pinterest) people have begun to illustrate concepts with the strong support of infographics on their posts and profiles. Many of them are very well-crafted, which implies a lot of work behind the final outcome. The execution is only part of the project though. The research of reliable statistics and the development of a concept and a style to explain them clearly is a huge slice of the whole pie. It requires analytical skills that the graphic designer should already have but might not.
Do you guys think that - due to the nature of this type of design - it is required a specific figure such as an "infographic designer" for this kind of projects? Also, do you think that we are going towards a future where infographics are going to replace large content-based areas of websites and brochures?
I think with most new design inovations and trends, designers will have to adapt or die. The points you made are spot on, the have also been raised with other changes in web standards before. I do think sometimes the industry creates a new sub category of designer, the rise of the SEO expert is testiment to that, so if it become profitable to have Infogrpahic Design Specialists, then we will have them, if not, we can all just add it as a new skill in our portfolio and CV incase anyone requires it :)