Digital Photography Now -  
25th August 2009
Digital photos given new lease of life in Web 2.0 Britain

Research released shows that people are turning to online platforms and services to record and share their digital photographs

Research from Blurb® reveals that people are sharing their lives online via images, then turning to print to keep, share, and gift their digital photographs

London, UK – 25th August, 2009 – Research released today shows that people are turning to online platforms and services to record and share their digital photographs and avoid them slipping into the digital abyss.

The online survey, commissioned by Blurb and carried out by YouGov, found that 44 per cent of respondents share their digital photographs using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  The emergence of social media has given rise to a generation of people who are sharing information about all aspects of their lives online, posting photographs of everything from the mundane through to nights out on the town, holidays, and significant life moments like weddings. This trend is particularly prominent amongst 18 to 24 year olds, where 83 per cent share their images on social media websites, while only 19 per cent of people aged over 55 do the same.

“Images have become the new vocabulary, and it’s interesting to see how people are documenting their lives online in this way,” commented Eileen Gittins, founder and CEO of Blurb.

The survey also found that there is a growing trend for people to use creative online services to transform photos into real, personalised products, to keep, share, and give as gifts.  Almost half of those surveyed (44 per cent) stated that they would prefer to make a hard copy photography book from their snaps. In contrast, online photo albums proved the least popular choice for people looking to share their digital photos; only five per cent of respondents said they would prefer to create an online photo album using a web-based service such as Flickr.

“I’ve said many times that you can’t gift a website – the beauty of print is that it’s tangible; it’s real,” said Eileen Gittins. “Books are more than repositories for images, they tell stories with a beginning, middle and end. And even if the story is told through images, it still reads.  We know from our own research that gift-giving and memory-keeping are the top two reasons why our consumer customers make Blurb books.”

Key findings include:

  • 83 per cent of 18 – 24 year olds share their images on social media websites with a total of 44 per cent of respondents sharing digital photographs in the same way
  • 44 per cent of respondents prefer to make a hardcopy photography book for special occasions
  • 42 per cent of people have over 500 digital images stored on electronic devices
  • 24 per cent of people have over 1,000 digital images stored on electronic devices
  • 41 per cent of people print their digital photographs

The growth of online photo-print services has given consumers a wide choice for their digital prints. In addition, the cost of photo printers has come down dramatically in recent times enabling people to create high-quality photo-prints in the home

  • 28 per cent of people save their photos to a separate storage device other than a computer or laptop

New gadgets such as digital photo frames and high resolution camera phones have increased the trend for people to transfer their photos from their camera to other digital devices

  • 26 per cent of people leave their photographs trapped on their cameras
  • 79 per cent of people store their digital photographs on their computer or laptop

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