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The Photo Opportunity in Social Networking


Who Uses Social Networks?

Over 53% of survey participants who are aware of social networking sites reported using at least one of them on a regular basis. Using a social networking site on a “regular basis” was defined as posting personal content (status updates, messages, photos, etc.) and/or maintaining a profile or personal page, AND visiting the site at least twice a month.

The use of social network sites was slightly higher among females and slightly lower among males. Not surprisingly, respondents under age 35 were considerably more likely to be regular users than their older counterparts. Nevertheless, InfoTrends expects this gap to narrow (but not close completely) over the next few years.

Interestingly, InfoTrends found a strong correlation between those that are active photographers (capturing 75+ DSC photos or 25+ camera phone photos every three months) and those that are regular users of social networks. People who take a lot of photos clearly want to share them, and they are largely turning to social networks to do so.

Opportunity for Online Services that Store High-Resolution Photos

For a number of reasons, including storage and bandwidth savings, a faster upload experience, and the low resolution required for on-screen display, most social networking sites down-sample photos during the uploading process. The loss in resolution is significant. Interestingly, less than a third of respondents realized that their photos are stored at reduced resolution and over 20% consider social networking sites to be safe storage for their important photos. This points to an opportunity for online services that store high-resolution photos to educate the market and to make those photos more easily accessible on social networking sites for viewing and output.

The preceding is an excerpt from a report entitled 2009 U.S. Social Networking and Photo Sharing Survey. To learn more about this report, visit our online store or contact Robyn Wuori at ext. 103 or via e-mail at .

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