How much do you know about Facebook Photos?
The number of online photos has steadily increased over the last decade, but a revolution has occurred with photo sharing in the last year. Pixable alone sorted through 10 billion photos in the first month after the launch of the app. This is only a glimpse into the massive volume of photos circulating in social networks.
Being in the midst of this revolution and being obsessed with the photo sharing phenomenon, we decided to question preexisting assumptions on the topic. Our goal is to get to the bottom of this phenomenon and what it all means. For the inaugural analysis, we scoured our data based on a sample of 100,000 Pixable users. This infographic is the result – with some input from Facebook as well as Harvard professor Mikolaj Jan Piskorski.
Photo Sharing Explosion
There is a photo sharing explosion as a result of the 600 million Facebook users around the world connecting with their friends through the common language of photos, as well as the increasing ease of taking and sharing photos with the advent of the iPhone and Android phones. Everyone carries a digital camera in their pocket at any time. As noted in a previous post on our blog, Facebook is the indubitable front-runner, dwarfing other social photo sites like Flickr, Picasa, and Photobucket with well over five times the photos. When 750 million photos were posted to Facebook on New Year’s Eve weekend this year, that was a telltale sign the trend was on the rise. At the rate of 6 billion photos uploaded each month, there will be about 100 billion photos on Facebook by summer 2011.
When do users share photos?
Many of our assumptions on current photo sharing habits, which are likely to fall into the category of “common knowledge”, simply aren’t the case.
Question: Aren’t most photos uploaded to social networks on Mondays and Tuesdays following events that happened on the weekend? (Answer: Nope. Weekends reach the zenith by 40%).
This may indicate that photo uploading is an effort done best during one’s free time, i.e., not during work, when coincidentally, Internet activity peaks. We have the hypothesis that people upload photos on weekends because they are increasingly sharing directly from their smart phones, rather than waiting until they are in front of their computers.
Men vs. Women
Of course a study such as this one wouldn’t be complete without comparing the habits of men and women. In essence, women come out on top in all areas:
- Women upload two times more photos than men (347 vs 179).
- Women are also tagged in twice as many photos (73 vs 35).
- Pretty much everyone prefers photos with females.
An important factor here is that women, on average, tend to have more friends than men, and they engage with online photos more.
According to research on social networks by Harvard professor Mikolaj Jan Piskorsky, women receive two thirds of all photo views. Men prefer most looking at women they don’t know, followed by looking at women they do know. And women prefer looking at other women they know.
Question: Younger people share more photos on Facebook than older people because older people are more concerned about privacy and sharing, right? (Answer: No again. Older people upload almost as many photos).
Interestingly enough though, while uploads remain more or less steady with age, photo tags begin to decline among users in their late 20’s.
This may indicate that even though users 25 and older continue to post photos consistently, they also become more cognizant about photos tagged of them. What would be interesting to know, (that supersedes our current knowledge), is if older people untag themselves or if they simply aren’t’ tagged in the first place. If it is the latter, this could be because they are less willing to spend the time on this activity or their uncertainty of the function that tagging has within a social networking context.
Photos shared your network
Our users have on average 345 Facebook friends, with 280 photos uploaded per friend. That means that there are 97K photos in their network.
This author, for example, has 460 friends on Facebook. The majority of them share photos regularly. Therefore, I have more than 120,000 photos in my network right now. In the most recent glance at the “Top News” in my Newsfeed, I was exposed to 18 of my friends photos. I clicked on a couple of the photos, and was able to scroll through that particular friend’s photos (with the new Facebook photo viewer). Therefore, I saw about 30 photos in one Facebook check. End of that photo session. Get it?! How many more photos there are to see, and how little time to see them all.
In conclusion, if you are reading this now, you are a social networker. If you are a social networker, you likely engage with photos. If you are both, the number of photos in your network is blowing up!
Feel free to share this infographic far and wide. Join us in our contrarian mission, and have fun dispelling some myths on a topic that everyone loves.