Online Life in Pictures

A nationally representative phone survey, by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, finds that 46% of internet users post original photos and videos online they have created themselves, and 41% curate photos and videos they find elsewhere on the internet and post on image-sharing sites. Women are more likely than men to use Pinterest, while Instagram and Tumblr attract equal shares of men and women.

The report says that that:

  • The 46% of adult internet users who post original photos or videos online are dubbed “creators.”
  • The 41% of adult internet users who take photos or videos that they have found online and repost them on sites are called “curators.”
  • Overall, 56% of internet users do at least one of the creating or curating activities studied, and 32% of internet users do both creating and curating activities.

The creator group is made up of those who have shared photos they have taken themselves (45% of internet users have done that) and those who have shared videos they have created themselves (18% of internet users have done that). Many of them do both of them.

The curator group is made up of those who have taken photos they found online and posted them on a site that is used for sharing images with others (35% of internet users have done that) and those who have taken videos they found online and posted them on a video-sharing site that is used for sharing videos with others (25% of internet users have done that).

This is the first time that the Pew Research Center has asked questions about Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr, so it is not possible to compare these data to previous material. However, says the report, that it is safe to say that the rise of smartphones is a major part of the story because those phones have cameras built into them, making it easy to take and share self-made pictures online. It is also safe to say, says the report, that the rise of social media, especially YouTube and newer services like Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr has made curating activities easier because they are organized for easy image and video-sharing.

In an earlier phone survey of adults ages 18 and older, the Pew Internet Project found that:

  • 12% of online adults say they use Pinterest, which is dominated by women. 19% of online women use Pinterest, a site that allows users to organize and share content from around the web by “pinning” photos and images into “pinboards” that are organized by categories or themes.  Each “pin”, which includes a caption, links back to the site from which it originated.
  • 12% of online adults say they use Instagram (owned by Facebook), which is dominated by young adults. Some 27% of the internet users between ages 18-29 use Instagram, which is a photo-sharing service built around a smartphone app that allows users to filter or tint photos they’ve taken and then share them with their networks.
  • 5% of online adults say they use Tumblr. Some 11% of young adults use this social blogging service that allows for easy sharing of various types of posts, including text, photos, quotes, links, music, and video.

This survey also found that:

  • 66% of online adults use Facebook
  • 20% use LinkedIn
  • 16% use Twitter

Demographics of Subject Groups (% of internet users within each group)

Users

Pinterest

Instagram

Tumblr

Creators

Curators

All internet users

12%

12%

5%

46%

41%

   Men

5

11

4

45

38

   Women

19

12

7

48

45

Age

   18-29

16

27

11

69

63

   30-49

12

8

4

52

42

    50-64

13

6

2

28

31

   65+

4

4

1

29

20

Annual household income

   Less than $30,000/yr

11

8

6

46

50

   $30,000-$49,999

8

14

6

50

48

   $50,000-$74,999

16

9

2

51

40

   $75,000+

12

16

3

44

29

Education level

   High school grad or less

8

8

3

40

39

   Some College

15

15

7

48

50

   College +

14

12

5

51

36

Source: Pew Research Center, August 2012 (Creators: % of internet users within each group who share either photos or videos they have taken themselves; Curators: % of internet users within each group who either take photos or videos they have found online and shared them on picture-sharing sites)

For additional information from PEWresearch, and access to the PDF file for more charts and graphs, please visit here.

 

 

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