There’s a growing opportunity for social networks that can offer high-resolution photo storage or partner with other companies that do. Things will be even more interesting now that Facebook has announced that it will be storing higher resolution photos.
Weymouth, MA (Vocus) October 26, 2010
InfoTrends has just released the results of its "2010 Social Networks and Photo Sharing Survey." The survey revealed that the user population of social networking sites is still expanding, as both awareness and use were up over last year’s survey. Over 60% of respondents that had heard of social networking sites identified themselves as regular users of at least one of those sites. This is interesting news for the photo industry, as these sites are full of photo-active consumers. Nearly three quarters of social networkers reported sharing photos other than their profile picture on these sites, and users of these sites reported taking a significantly higher number of photos than the general population.
Many of these consumers are still not aware of the problem that most social networks downsize photos during the uploading process. The size at which the photos are stored is insufficient for producing good quality prints except in very small sizes, and these consumers would likely be disappointed if they tried to recover their original photos and they were not backed up elsewhere.
Interest in ordering printed photos as well as photo merchandise from photos on these sites were both up this year, although the low resolution at which these photos are stored limits the available output options. Alan Bullock, an Associate Director at InfoTrends, commented, “There seems to be a growing opportunity for social networks that can offer high-resolution photo storage or partner with other companies that do, and things will get even more interesting now that Facebook has announced that it will begin storing higher resolution photos. Educating consumers on the facts around the quality of the photos stored on social networking sites will help generate demand for these types of services.”
InfoTrends’ "2010 Social Networks and Photo Sharing Survey," fielded in the early summer of 2010, offers valuable information for operators of social networking sites who wish to gain greater insight into their users’ photo sharing activities; for traditional online photo services that need to understand why users are increasingly turning to social networks for everyday photo sharing; and for vendors of photo prints, gifts, and merchandise that are considering offering their services to social network users.
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