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Where Do You Upload Your Photos?

Simon Witton


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Contents Introduction

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Specifics

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Architecture

6

Nature and Landscapes

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Animals

18

Personal

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Links

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Findings

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Credits

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Introduction: With practically everyone owning a phone with a built in camera, and millions more having separate designated cameras to take their photographs, how do we decide where to upload our photos? Complicating the decision, are the variety of social sites out there catering to your photographic needs; Flickr, Photobucket, Pinterest to name but a few. The interesting part for me was with an individual maintaining several of these photography sites at once (as many of us commonly do) the decision of where to upload a specific photo then comes into play. Is the photo of a professional enough standard for the site? Who do I want the photo to be seen by? Where would the photo get the most attention? These are all factors in the photo uploading decision. What I wanted to explore is how these decision are made; Do the photos on these sites reflect the decisions of its users; Does the content of one social site differ greatly from another? My gut reaction before researching more was; ‘Yes of course the content differs, you wouldn’t expect to see the same professionalism of photos on Facebook as you would on Flickr’ As it turns out, the issue isn’t quite so black and white, there’s an overlap. The line between the photo uploading sites has blurred, creating an intriguing platform. Over the following pages I will share some of my own insights from my data alongside my own photography. With any luck, you’ll find the results as interesting as I do.

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Specifics: Due to the sheer amount of photo uploading websites and applications available, I decided to look at three that I use. These being Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr. I also thought these three represented different angles of the photo uploading experience. Facebook being more social, Instagram a solely mobile experience and Tumblr being multifunctional. I chose experiences that I know so that I could further understand the data due to a better knowledge of the contextual factors. To collect the data I came up with a series of categories, which would cover all the various photos I would encounter. These categories ranged from photos of the person their self to a picture of a building and everything in between. I then had to choose the people whose photos I would analyze. This was a tricky decision. I had to try and eliminate as much bias as possible to make the results as true a reflection of the sites as I could. To do this I chose people that I believed to be on all three of the chosen sites and were between the ages of 18 and 25, so I could create trends based on their decisions as to where to upload their photos. This didn’t work out entirely in practice, as I couldn’t locate a lot of people’s Tumblr’s that I knew had an account, so the Tumblr statistics aren’t truly accurate. The process of data collection started on Instagram by physically tallying people’s photos into the predefined categories. I then repeated this with Facebook and Tumblr. With Instagram only being around two years, I was able to tally all of the people’s photos, due to the average amount of photos being around 200 per person. But with the average amount for Facebook and Tumblr around the thousand mark I couldn’t possibly tally all of them due to time constraints. Therefore, I limited my tallying to 200 photos for each site. With regards to Facebook, I focused on the photos that people uploaded themselves not what photos they were tagged in. This was important, as I wanted to explore the conscious decision of where the person uploaded their photos, so I had to ignore the photos that others had tagged them in. This left me looking into the persons ‘mobile uploads’ and ‘wall photos’ rather than that person’s whole photo stream.

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Architecture

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The most popular social network to share your architecture flicks on is Instagram, boasting twice the amount of architecture pictures than Facebook and Tumblr. It also appears that males appreciate a good architecture snap more than the ladies, apart from on Tumblr where the ladies come out on top. Despite Instagram having more architectural photos, architectural photos do not dominate the scene. Only around 5% of the photos I encountered on Instagram were related to architecture. My findings on architecture came with little surprise. I expected Instagram to be popular for architecture, partly due to the amount of photos I encounter related to architecture when I browse Instagram. What did shock me, however, is that Tumblr had the same amount of architectural photos as Facebook. I would have expected Tumblr to rival Instagram’s amount, but then again this may be due to the people who I follow on Tumblr distorting my perception of the social site into a more architectural based site.

Photo Uploading Site:

Average Percentage of Category per Photo Uploading Site:

Instagram

5.3%

Tumblr

2.3%

Facebook

2.4%

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Nature and landscapes

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Posting a photo of a visually pleasing sunset or landscape arrangement seems to be very popular across all three social sites, with nature and landscape photos being amongst the top categories featured consistently on all the sites. This may be due to the broad criteria set with a category engulfing the whole of nature and landscapes. Regardless of the explanation, photos of nature and landscapes are hot on the social scene. Especially across Instagram and Tumblr, where a tenth of the photos I studied were in this category. It is of little surprise to me that nature and landscape photos are popular on all social sites. Personally, this category is among my favourite type of picture.

Photo Uploading Site: Instagram

Average Percentage of Category per Photo Uploading Site: 11.3%

Tumblr

8.6%

Facebook

5.4%

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Animals

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Whether it’s a hilarious flick of your cat stuck in a box, or simply a photo of a beloved pet, everyone loves pictures of animals. So, it isn’t at all surprising that both Instagram and Facebook have their fair share of animal photos. Surprising enough (to me at least) is that I found the least amount of animal photos on Tumblr. Again, I had this preconceived perception of Tumblr as a very animalfriendly place whereby animal lovers everywhere rejoiced to share their favourite animal photos. But according to the data Facebook and Instagram are twice as popular for animal photos.

Photo Uploading Site:

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Average Percentage of Category per Photo Uploading Site:

Instagram

7.6%

Tumblr

7.1%

Facebook

7.1%


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Personal

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It’s no surprise that with the largest category comes the largest set of results. Personal photos were the most popular type of photo across all three sites, with anything ranging from a picture of your favourite new read, to a picture of your new hard drive.

The results I got from the personal category were expected. Everyone uploads personal photos onto the Internet, its programmed into the 18 to 25 year old generation. Its also not surprising that Tumblr is the least popular for this type of image. This could be due to having a predominantly desktop site, not encouraging mobile uploads to the same extreme as Facebook and Instagram do. This would make the process of uploading a personal photo harder for Tumblr lovers.

Photo Uploading Site:

Average Percentage of Category per Photo Uploading Site:

Instagram

13.4%

Facebook

11.6%

Tumblr

7.6%

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Links It’s worth noting the links people have between their photo uploading sites. This is where when you upload a photo on one site; it automatically uploads to another. Some links proved popular amongst the people I studied. The most popular (by far) was linking your Instagram to your Facebook account (70% of the people I looked into had this option enabled) In fact, linking your Instagram to any other social site seemed the most desirable kind of link. Personally, I do not like links, mainly because when I upload a photo somewhere, it is due to the audience that I want to see my photo, and linking sites together would allow multiple audiences to see my photo.

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Findings So after all of this research and evaluation, what have I learnt? Well, it seems that the nature of the social site impacts the type of image people upload to it. For example, people tend to upload their personal photos to Instagram and Facebook over Tumblr. This could be due to Facebook and Instagram being an instantaneous experience, meaning that they are timeline related. So when browsing Instagram you see what people are doing at that moment, making some photo types more relevant than others.

This is especially true of personal and architecture photos. This may be because people want their stamp on the social sites, almost as if they are saying, “This is what I am doing now� Which would make sense as you often experience architecture when on the move, allowing for mobile photo uploading sites to shine as you can upload your flick right then and there. Sites such as Tumblr are almost photo portfolio platforms. This would make it less likely for people to upload photos on the go due to Tumblr mainly being a desktop site. Therefore, you would expect the photos there to be more considered and less instant than on Facebook and Instagram.

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Photo Credits Page 7; Belfast City Hall; Belfast; Northern Ireland Page 8 & 9 (Clockwise from top left); York Cathedral; York, England, Balcany Sets; Palma; Mallorca, Alleyway; Palma; Mallorca, Statue; Palma Cathedral Grounds; Mallorca, Boat set; Porto Cristo; Mallorca Page 10; Walled City; Londonderry; Northern Ireland Page 12; Rock Face; Porto Cristo; Mallorca Page 14 & 15 (Clockwise from top left); Cloud shot; Mid-air; Palma, Giant’s Causeway; County Antrim; Northern Ireland, Cedar Tree; Costa Los de los Pinos; Mallorca, Allotment; Londonderry; Northern Ireland, Lemon Tree; Porto Cristo; Mallorca Page 16; Garden; Porto Cristo; Mallorca Page 19; Duck and Seagull; Costa de los Pinos; Mallorca Page 20 & 21 (Clockwise from top left); Sleeping Cats; Cala Bona, Mallorca, Chicken; Cala Bona; Mallorca, Swan; Palma Cathedral Grounds; Mallorca, Butterfly; Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge; Northern Ireland, Duck; York, England Page 23; Cockerel; Cala Bona; Mallorca Page 25; Floating man; London, England Page 26 & 27 (Clockwise from top left); Wall Mural; Belfast; Northern Ireland, Pub Window; Belfast; Northern Ireland, Pens; York; England, Cameras; London; England, Letters; Huddersfield; England, Padlocks; Costa de los Pinos; Mallorca Page 28; Biker; Cala Bona; Mallorca Images & Narration by Simon Witton

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Where Do You Upload Your Photos?