Facebook #1 For Online Photo Sharing

Industry Perspective

Facebook #1 For Online Photo Sharing

by Ron Leach

The past three years has seen some rather dramatic shifts in the way consumers utilize online photo services, according to a leading market research firm for the digital imaging industry. In their 2009 Online Photo Services study, analysts at InfoTrends note a strengthening shift toward the use of social networking sites on the part of those who want to share images with friends and family.

Just three years ago, respondents to InfoTrends’ 2006 report named Kodak Gallery (25%) and Snapfish (19%) as their top choices for uploading their images. By 2008, the social networking sites MySpace (48%) and Facebook (26%) took the top spots while Kodak Gallery and Snapfish slipped dramatically. The 2009 InfoTrends Online Photo Services study showed yet another shift, with Facebook (60%) leapfrogging MySpace (42%) as the social networking sites solidified their gains.

As one might suspect, the trends for online photo viewing parallel those for uploading. Social networking sites are no longer the sole domain of younger users, and Facebook’s success in the photo arena is attributable to its appeal across a wider age range than MySpace. InfoTrends points out that while Facebook originated as a site for college students, its fastest-growing demographic is individuals age 35 and older.

And while we’re at it, we might as well throw in a plug for Shutterbug’s new Facebook page, where you can post your images, keep track of what’s being featured in the magazine, and, of course, become a fan!