Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr, Google+, Facebook, Twitter. All these services either feature photo sharing or highlight photo sharing in a big way that is only getting bigger. What is up with all this photo sharing?
It is so easy to share photos now: the cameras in phones are high quality, we always have them with us, we have become accustomed to sharing moments of our lives, and photos tell stories beyond what we can do with words. It makes sense for consumers to share in their everyday lives, but how are brands using these photo sharing sites?
Today, Instagram founders participated in a discussion about their service today at SXSW in Austin, TX. They announced that the service now has 27 million registered users worldwide. And this is only on through iOS devices and without a website. With 67% of the people who used it this week, used it yesterday there is huge engagement. The Instagram founders call this Facebook-level engagement. Then today they announced that they will have an Android version of the app ready very soon.
When it comes to brand engagement, Instagram has found a successful model. The volume of brands that have signed up for Instagram and use it on a daily basis is amazing. Burberry has 200,000 followers and they are showing them new lines, behind the scenes of the fashion shows and sharing details consumers couldn’t find elsewhere. Brands also include Kate Spade, Starbucks, Audi, and Tiffany, just to name a few. It is working really well and fans like it; they are inviting these brands into their streams.
Not surprisingly, it is also these brands and those similar to those that jumped on Pinterest quickly. And they are reaping the rewards of telling their story through photography in the places that consumers are also sharing their photography: people are shopping directly from these photo links.
If brands can tell their stories and make them interesting through photography, that is reason enough to play in the same spaces that consumers are sharing their photography. In fact, consumers are embracing it and helping spread the brand messages.