A new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project looks at habits of curators and creators of photos and videos online.
The project conducted a phone survey of 1,005 adults ages 18 and older between August 2-5, 2012 and asked them questions about their photo and video habits on social media, and the social media activities in which they participate.
For the first time ever, the Pew Internet and American Life project asked questions about Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr, which also means that there are no comparable statistics for review.
The study finds that 46% of internet users post original photos and videos online they have created themselves (the creators), and 41% curate photos and videos they find elsewhere on the internet and post on image-sharing sites (the curators).
Given the rise of smartphones with cameras built into them as well as the growth of social media image sharing services such as Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr, the percentage of photo and video creators is a relatively large. However, according to Forrester’s 2011 Social Technographics study, only 24% of internet users are considered “creators” of internet content, and Forrester’s definition of a creator is much broader than photos and videos.
Forrester’s Social Technographics ladder that classifies social media use worldwide is one of the long-held standards of social media use classification. The only conclusion that I can come to: what a difference a year of Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram growth can make!
Organizations are far more likely to receive photos and videos from those ages 18-29 during any online crowdsourcing campaign or solicitation. Adults in all age groups are for more predisposed to create images than videos. Consequently, if your audience is older, you will find a relatively small percentage of participants over age 50 in any user-generated image content campaign.
Additionally, the surprise to me is how dominant Twitter is among young adults; there is much deeper Twitter use in the 18-29 demographic than any other age group. One organizational challenge must be to engage young adults on Twitter.
My expectation is that this trend will continue to grow with rising smartphone adoption, and the adoption of more image curation and creation services such as Pinterest and Instagram.
The takeaway for any organization is how you will use the concept of image and video curators and creators, along with what you know about who they are, to nurture a connection to your cause, organization, and conversation online.