15 billion photos have now been uploaded to Facebook:
The latest numbers the company has shared with us include 15 billion photos uploaded in total, an average of 220 million new pictures posted each week, and at its busiest, 550,000 images being loaded each second.
Somehow news organizations lost sight of the fact that people love photos.
Instead they poured money and resources into newer, trendier fads, while neglecting a market they should be owning. What makes this even more inexcusable is how much money news organizations — especially newspapers — spend on cameras. Why give a photographer $10,000-20,000 worth of equipment for just a few shots to appear in the newspaper and online?
Still today most news organizations are only uploading a few photos from events that they take hundreds or even thousands of photos at. Still today news organizations are passing up events like high school proms, even though they are fantastic community and brand building events (and they will generate a ton of traffic and time spent). Still today most news organizations don’t allow users to upload photos to their Web sites.
Instead, people are uploading billions of photos to Facebook, Flickr, TwitPic and other sites. Imagine if those photos (and those eyeballs) were instead on news orgs’ Web sites? Imagine if news orgs tried to aggressively sell photos? Imagine if news orgs sold user-submitted photos and developed a profit-sharing model?
I hear all this talk about videos and databases and iPhone apps and Web ninjas, when news organizations could be making a killing by just utilizing something they have done well for decades: photos. Why have we lost sight of the fact that people love photos?
A few suggestions:
- If you attend a community event like a high school football game and take hundreds of photos (or thousands), upload hundreds of photos.
- Make photos big and beautiful. If my high school can do it, any news organization can too.
- Make buying photos incredibly easy. Again, if my high school can do it, any news organization can too. Check out their awesome photo buying system. Just click on the photos you want (with add to basket button under each photo), go to check out and select the sizes and quantities you want. Really simple.
- Allow users to upload photos. This is especially big for community events like parades, festivals, proms, sporting events, etc. Just check out how many people are at each of these events with digital cameras. We want their photos.
- Forget about captioning every photo. It’s a huge time sink that often delivers zero value (how many original captions could one sporting event really have?). Stop thinking about captions for community events and start thinking about tags.