InfoTrends has just released a detailed new study investigating consumers’ use of social networks, with particular emphasis on photo-related activities taking place via these networks.
The results of the consumer survey that was conducted have some interesting implications for the digital imaging market.
According to the survey research, nearly three quarters of regular social network users engage in photo sharing, showing this is clearly a photo-active group of consumers. Although a relatively low percentage of them indicated interest in ordering prints and photo merchandise from the photos shared there, InfoTrends believes that they represent more than 50 million potential customers for online photofinishers.
Unfortunately, photo output options from social networking sites are rather limited due to the fact that social networking sites typically store photos at extremely low resolution. 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.
Alan Bullock, Associate Director of InfoTrends’ Internet Imaging Trends Service, commented, “Many social networking site users believe that their photos are effectively “backed up” when they are stored on these sites, but this is simply not the case. This is 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 study also explores some of the newer technologies available to consumers for viewing and sharing their photos, including home networks, television screens, and mobile devices. While these connected solutions are clearly in the early stages of adoption, they are expected to gain acceptance as they become easier to use and connectivity options become standard on more consumer devices.
InfoTrends’ 2009 Social Networks and Photo Sharing Study provides an in-depth analysis of InfoTrends’ consumer survey on the use of social networks and the photo sharing activities that occur on these sites.
Fielded in March 2009, this Web survey received responses from 1,810 qualified participants, including 885 who use at least one social networking site on a regular basis.