Facebook Increases Lead as Top Photo Sharing Site

New data shows Facebook’s lead in the photo sharing market has increased dramatically, both in the US and worldwide, in the last four months.

Erick Schonfeld has the latest charts from analytics company Comscore that show Facebook Photos growing by over 40% in the US in the last four months from 23.9 to 33.6 million unique visitors. During that same timeframe, #2 Photobucket grew by 7% to 22.8 million, Flickr grew by 12% to 21.9 million, and #4 Picasa fell to 8.1 million.


Globally, Facebook’s lead in Photos is even more dramatic. Facebook Photos saw over 153 million uniques in January, while #2 Flickr saw only 66.7 million.


How has Facebook Photos gained so much traffic during the last 4 months? Aside from Facebook’s rapid growth during the last few months, one key reason is Facebook’s redesigned profile, which has placed a Photos tab on every profile page. Photos are now very prominent both on profile pages and in the feeds.

In addition, the viral dynamics of photo tagging are simply very strong. As we wrote last November,

Photos are extremely popular inside Facebook: Facebook gives both significant visibility on the profile page and significant distribution in the News Feed to photo-related stories. The reason Facebook is the most popular photo sharing site on the web is not because its features are the best, but because its Photos application is very tightly integrated with the social graph.

Tagging is the primary means by which photos are made social: when a user uploads a photo, they can “tag” their friends who appear in the photo. Notifications are sent to tagged friends letting them know that a new tagged photo of them exists on Facebook, and feed stories are published on both the tagger’s and taggee’s profiles.

Users who receive a notification that they have just been tagged usually investigate the photo. If they don’t want to be associated with the picture, they “detag” themselves from it. Similarly, users who see a feed story about their friends being tagged in photos often check out the photo.

Bottom line: Photo-related notifications and feed stories both get a lot of impressions and have a high conversion rate inside Facebook.

As a result of the rise in popularity of Facebook Photos, some marketers have taken to photo tag spamming as an aggressive marketing tactic, while some Facebook Platform applications have used photo tags as a creative mechanism to spread the word about their applications.

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Leave a Reply

13 Responses to “Facebook Increases Lead as Top Photo Sharing Site”

  1. Jan’s Tech Blog » Tag我變成Spam我 says:

    [...] Facebook中得知,Facebook在分享相片這環節上可算是一枝獨秀。在今年1月期間,其分享相片功能的Total Unique [...]

  2. Soniq.org Links » Download all the Facebook photos you’re tagged in using PhotoGrabber says:

    [...] Pop quiz: what’s the largest photo site on the web? Flickr? Photobucket? Picasa? Nope, it’s Facebook. [...]

  3. Facebook’s Email could really Take Down Gmail Supremacy says:

    [...] are already the biggest photo sharing website of the world (Flickr who?). They are probably the biggest “forum” site of the world. [...]

  4. Boo Facebook! says:

    Facebook is terrible for sharing photos! The pictures you upload automatically lose resolution and most of the time, the colors are not quite right either. I definitely prefer flickr.

  5. The Week in Geek™ – May 7th, 2010 - The Week in Geek™ says:

    [...] Facebook may very well be the greatest market envelopment machine the Net has ever seen.  Facebook swallowed photo sharing even after Google (Picasa), MySpace (Photobucket), and Yahoo! (Flickr) collectively spent well over [...]

  6. Quora says:

    Why did the web services group at Yahoo fail after acquiring Flickr, Delicious, Upcoming, MyBlogLog and others?…

    See http://www.insidefacebook.com/2009/02/23/facebook-increases-lead-as-top-photo-sharing-site/ for a couple of statistics….

  7. Twitter is Not a Social Network says:

    [...] Facebook conquered the online photo sharing business a few years ago. The company made some changes to its user interface that helped cement their dominance, but the overwhelming factor behind their success is simple: Facebook has a lot of interconnected people, and one of the things they like to do with their connections is share photos. [...]

  8. Hands On With… PicPlz says:

    [...] are nothing new.  Established sites as Flickr, Picasa and Facebook (which maintains its position the world’s largest photo sharing site) have been around for years.  And yet, over the past couple of weeks there has been a palpable [...]

  9. 10 Ways to Create a More Engaging Facebook Page | Emerald - Facebook Marketing - Vietnam says:

    [...] on Facebook want to see photos. After all, Facebook is far and away the biggest photo sharing site on the web. So make sure your page has a large photo of your company or brand as the profile picture. This [...]

  10. Facebook Photos: A History [INFOGRAPHIC] | Pixable Blog says:

    [...] http://www.insidefacebook.com/2006/05/11/facebook-photos-used-to-arrest-wisconsin-students/, http://www.insidefacebook.com/2009/02/23/facebook-increases-lead-as-top-photo-sharing-site/, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article4560908.ece, [...]

  11. 10 Ways to Create a More Engaging Facebook Page | facebook Page Promotion says:

    [...] on Facebook want to see photos. After all, Facebook is far and away the biggest photo sharing site on the web. So make sure your page has a large photo of your company or brand as the profile picture. This [...]

  12. Reizen, sociale media en lokale tips « Zesser says:

    [...] zonder dat zij zich hoeven aan te melden. Goed idee, zeker omdat Facebook al sinds jaren de grootste foto-site is. Je vraagt je echter af waarom Flickr hier niet wat meer mee doet. Of [...]

  13. Kivestu's Blog says:

    [...] A massive component of that UGC is photos (FB became largest photo sharing site all the way back in 2009). [...]

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