A picture is worth thousand words, they say. That’s probably what’s driving Internet users to upload and share over a billion photos per day. How many words is that, guys?

Yes, one of the startling bits from KPCB analyst Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report states that all internet-connected citizens share over 1.8 billion photos each day.

Image: KPCB
Source: KPCB estimates based on publicly disclosed company data, 2014 YTD data per latest as of 5/14

The massive amount images are shared through multi-platform services such as Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp. For now Snapchat is the biggest gainer in terms of shares, with over 700 million photos shared through the app. Instagram also marginally increased the number of shares, though it’s nothing like Snapchat’s gain. And many are still wondering why Facebook wanted a piece of Snapchat last year. Having failed in its attempts, it’s now building a clone, and this in spite of having WhatApp and Instagram in its corner.

Facebook is aiming to be the primary communication channel for all types of sharing, no matter the platform, and getting a bigger piece of our photo-sharing lines would ensure this.

In 2013, we saw a major boost in photo sharing with apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp. Last month, WhatApp announced its busiest day after processing 64 billion messages, while last year during Thanksgiving, Instagram claimed to have a record day, but without any figures to back it.

Source: Anjney Midha, KPCB Associate; Jared Morgenstern, KPCB Entrepreneur Partner.
Source: Anjney Midha, KPCB Associate; Jared Morgenstern, KPCB Entrepreneur Partner.

In her 2013 report, Meeker estimated over 500 million photos being shared every day and predicted it would increase by 2X by the end of 2013 compared to 2012. Today, the share volume is over three times compared to 2013. Moroever, the report points out that only 30 percent of overall mobile subscribers own a smartphone. This means there is a wide gap for improvement, and could further escalate the number of photos shared per day.

The report also suggests that the frequency of sharing among smaller known groups like phone contacts has increased, replacing more public sharing on platforms such as Facebook. For instance, you may have an endless friends list on Facebook, but your smaller messaging groups with known and closer friends will witness a bigger number of shares and engagement from you, thanks to the quick nature of smartphone communication.


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