Interestingly enough, according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, social media users fall into two distinct picture-posting subgroups: creators and curators.
Creators are those who take their own photos or make their own videos, and then share them on sites like Facebook, Pinterest or Tumblr, or through using photo sharing apps like Instagram.
Curators, on the other hand, pass along images others have taken, sending them to their social media friends and followers.
More than half of all U.S. internet users are either creators or curators; nearly one-third have performed both roles.
In a recent study of this topic, the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project sponsored a phone survey of more than 1,000 American adults. The survey included questions about photo and video sharing and the sites where these activities are most popular (with the exception of YouTube, which for whatever reason was not specifically included in this research initiative).
The findings are relevant to all social media marketers. For example, the results showed that:
- Nearly 70 percent of the respondents in the 18 to 29 age group classified as creators –they posted photos online they had taken themselves. There were less creators among 30 to 49 year olds (52 percent) and among those 50 and above (54 percent).
- As for video creators, while the percentages were much smaller, the age breakdowns were roughly the same. 33 percent of the 18 to 29 group, 18 percent of the 30 to 49 group, and 16 percent of those 50 and over.
- Creators tend to be almost equally split between men and women, while women are much more active photo curators than men. (With video curators, the gender gap was not nearly as wide.)
- In their dominating role as curators, four times more women than men use Pinterest (19 versus 5 percent).
- Younger adults use Instagram and Tumblr much more than their elders do.
- Pinterest and Instagram users outpace Tumblr users by more than two to one.
- 66 percent of those polled said they use Facebook. 20 percent use LinkedIn. 16 percent use Twitter
Certainly, this study helps explain the rapid growth in popularity Pinterest has enjoyed in recent months, and it underscores Facebook’s business acumen in acquiring Instagram, as well. As consumers embrace increasingly sophisticated smartphones and tablets, I’m sure posting pictures and videos online will become even more integral to communication, networking, marketing . . . and pet ownership, of course.