Cameraphones drive online photo-sharing

Cameraphones are now the main way that consumers share photos, rather than by email, according to a survey of 2,000 British and American consumers by Futuresource Consulting. The results are frequently viewed on a laptop or netbook PC by UK consumers, though "consumers in the USA tend to use the desktop PC," the company says.

Cameraphones are now the main way that consumers share photos, rather than by email, according to a survey of 2,000 British and American consumers by Futuresource Consulting. The results are frequently viewed on a laptop or netbook PC by UK consumers, though "consumers in the USA tend to use the desktop PC," the company says.

Futuresource reckons that 38 percent of UK consumers upload photos directly from their cameraphones, compared with 26 percent who share them via email. In the US, the figures are much closer: 35 percent and 34 percent respectively.

The survey shows that consumers aged 18 to 34 are more likely than any other age group to use cameraphones to share photos, particularly in the UK. Consumers aged 55+ are least likely to use cameraphones, choosing the traditional digital camera to capture images.

Around 80 percent of consumers share photos, and about 60 percent use websites to share, store and print them. "Facebook is seen to be the principal choice for consumers and is predominantly female dominated, with Flickr in the UK and Snapfish in the USA in second place," says Futuresource. More recently, Google Plus and Dropbox have made an impact.

While much of the sharing is done via Facebook and Twitter, Futuresource says:

"There is a notably higher number of active 'silver surfers' in the USA, with over 30 percent of those using websites being in the 55+ age group as opposed to only 19 percent in the UK. Kodak Gallery and Snapfish are proving to be the most popular destination of choice for consumers in this age bracket."

Older consumers also have "a higher propensity to print photos".

Comment: There probably is a digital divide, because much less resolution is required for online photos (Facebook shows them 720 pixels wide) than for printing (around 4,000 pixels wide). Younger consumers (aged 18 to 34) are generally sharing snapshots of their daily lives, and this is easier to do with a cameraphone. Most of these are disposable and unlikely ever to be printed. Older consumers (55+) are more likely to be preserving memories, so they want higher quality, printable results. This makes them somewhat more likely to use a digital camera than a cameraphone.

@jackschofield