Photo Sharing Linked to Creativity for Younger Consumers

Alan Bullock
May 27, 2014

A recent InfoTrends multi-client study, titled Social Photo and Video: The New Communication and Memory-Keeping Paradigm, used a combination of quantitative and qualitative methodologies to learn about the motivations for U.S. consumers’ photo and video behaviors, the reasons for the choices that they make along the way, and factors that influence their daily photo and video activities.

In the web survey portion of the study, we asked nearly 2,000 respondents what makes them consider a photo to be worth sharing or printing. We found that most were likely to determine the “share-worthiness” of a photo or video by the subject matter or the occasion at which it was captured. While this was true across all age groups, subject was an even higher criterion for those ages 55 and above. Younger respondents were more likely to want to express their creativity by sharing photos that showed off their photography skills or to which they had applied fun filters.

It is interesting to observe that, in general, the percentage of those who share a photo because it is humorous declines with age, while the opposite is true for photos that provide an update to others. (As one who lands near the right side of the x-axis, I would have to consider myself an outlier on that one.)

We also found that for those who use multiple picture-taking devices, their choice of camera varied considerably with their intent to share or print their photos. For example, as shown in the figure below, respondents who use a smartphone, point & shoot digital camera (P&S), digital interchangeable lens camera (DILC), and a tablet, showed a strong preference for their smartphone for photos that they planned to share by e-mail or on a social network. By contrast, those who intended to share on “other online photo services” were more likely to choose one of their digital cameras than their smartphone (i.e., the sum of the P&S and DILC responses is greater than the smartphone response). This may be an indication that these users see the more traditional online services as catering to a more serious photo enthusiast, and worthy of sharing the higher quality photos that can be captured with their digital cameras. By sizeable margins, this group also indicated that they would be most likely to choose their DILC for photos that they planned to print or use in custom photo products.

In addition to the extensive web survey, this study also used consumer intercepts and a four-week diary study to gather additional information about the reasons that consumers take, share, store, and print their photos and video the way they do. For more information on Social Photo and Video: The New Communication and Memory-Keeping Paradigm, please visit the InfoTrends Report Store or contact Matt O’Keefe ( or +1 781 616 2115).

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