Photo synthesis

There was a flurry of conversation last week about Hitwise’s blog entry report on use of web-based image management sites. The surprise was they claimed that had about 44% of the photo-site market, ahead of Yahoo! Photos (18%) and Webshots Community (8.34%). Flickr was in sixth place with around 6%.
In the entry, LeeAnn Prescott discusses how one might have imagined Flickr to be higher on the list based on the amount of discussion around it.
What I found most interesting was the impact of MySpace:

Photobucket, Slide, and Imageshack are all image hosting sites, and MySpace is their primary source of traffic. In fact, MySpace was responsible for 76% of Slide’s traffic in May 2006, 56% of Photobucket’s traffic, and 50% of Imageshack’s traffic. The growth of Photobucket and Slide go hand in hand the growth of consumer generated content and social networking sites, as I’ve reported before. It’s amazing to consider that the 1.39% of the downstream traffic from MySpace that goes to Photobucket could be largely responsible for Photobucket’s category dominance. [LeeAnn Prescott – Hitwise US: PhotoBucket Leads Photo Sharing Sites; Flickr at #6]

In this context, I was also interested to come across the following note in Business Week Online:

In response to an audience question at the Supernova conference a few hours ago, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels revealed that a group of Amazon engineers is looking at ways to use Amazon Web services to bridge Amazon with Second Life. According to a comment by Vogels at the virtual-worlds blog, it’s not an official project. But it’s no secret that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is an investor in Second Life creator Linden Lab, so I don’t doubt those engineers will come up with something. [ May Get a Second Life]

MySpace and Second life aggregate demand: being in the ‘flow’ of their users increases use.
Related entries:

3 thoughts on “Photo synthesis”

  1. “…In fact, MySpace was responsible for 76% of Slide’s traffic in May 2006, 56% of Photobucket’s traffic, and 50% of Imageshack’s traffic….”

    While the percentages are lower, much of the traffic to comes from MySpace. This is the result of people searching Google for images, finding stuff from, and linking it to there page(s) in MySpace. I end up being a file server for these people. %5 of my traffic comes from social networking sites, but it accounts for 12% of my network through put. I did a bit of analysis of this for the most recent issue of First Monday. See:

  2. A certain amount of caution is due with regards to multiuser 3D worlds ability to aggregate demand. MySpace is definitely aggregating demand for a particular type of service, but one which directly supports what people want to do in MySpace. I watched several of the early 3D world companies try to set up “virtual malls” in the mid-90s and have less than stellar success, because people didn’t come to 3D worlds to shop. They came for particular type of socializing. There may well be room for commercial and non-commercial services in something like 2nd Life, but if they don’t have a direct tie to what users would like to do in the virtual space, I don’t give them high odds of success. Being in the flow of users isn’t sufficient; you have to be giving them something they want when they’re at that particular point.

  3. Recently I’ve been having a long, hard look at blogging systems and picture management sites. Flickr is more prominent within our sphere because, indeed, of the discussion around it. Photobucket I found to be relatively poor (especially in relation to Flickr) in terms of ordering, grouping and manipulating pictures.

    Another point is that I’ve found the “quality” of pictures on Flickr to be, on average, superior to other systems. Granted, there’s still a lot of dross on Flickr e.g. pictures of cats, but perhaps it is *easier* to find the good quality, and relevant, pictures to suit ones needs?

    As an example; most of the traffic to my other blog is to look at pictures of beaches in the Outer Hebrides (these are some of the best, but least visited, beaches in the world):

    It is no coincidence that most of the pictures in there are fed in from Flickr accounts, as opposed to Photobucket and others (and that was after a lot of searching and quality examination).

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