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InfoTrends urges digital imaging vendors in western Europe to keep up with social networking revolution

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According to a recent survey of Western European consumers, social networking sites such as Facebook have become common destinations for people to interact. Around half of digital camera owners in this survey reported using a social networking site on a regular basis, with the majority engaging in photo sharing. Respondents from the UK were most likely to engage in this type of photo sharing.

Fast upload of photos has boosted photo sharing on social networks as has easy tagging and the option of instant sharing from mobile phones. Print quality of these photos, however, is reduced, as many photos on social networking sites are stored at a low resolution. Mona Belle, a Consultant at InfoTrends, commented, “Facebook has increased the resolution at which photos are stored, but vendors do not need to wait for other sites to do the same to capture business from this market segment. Some online photo services simultaneously upload photos to another site in high resolution and low resolution images to social networking sites. Other vendors offer photo merchandise products that use images at a size appropriate for the low resolution.”

Digital camera vendors must also become part of the social networking experience or they risk losing out to smartphones and camera phones that already offer instant photo sharing and uploading capabilities. Digital camera vendors that offer seamless and easy sharing directly from the camera will have instant appeal to those who share photos on social networking sites.

InfoTrends has published an analysis of social networking data from its 2011 European Digital Photography End-user Survey. The survey was conducted among Internet-connected households in France, Germany, Spain, U.K., and Russia. This report focuses only on the Western European countries surveyed, while the Russian data will become available in a separate report. This report offers vital information on the challenges and prospects that may lie ahead for players in the photo market that integrate with social networks.

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