Almost Half Of Online Americans Share Original Photos, Videos On SocNets

September 17, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Men | Social Media | Women | Youth & Gen X

46% of adult American internet users post original photos or videos online that they have created, and 41% repost photos or videos on sites designed for sharing images, according to [download page] September 2012 findings from Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Pew calls the first group “creators,” and the second group “curators.”

Women are slightly more likely to be creators than men (48% vs. 45%), as data from “Photos and Videos as Social Currency Online” reveals, and younger Americans are far more likely than older Americans to post their original photos and videos online. The percentage of respondents in each age group who are creators is lowest in the 65+ bracket (29%), followed by the 50-64 demo (28%). By contrast, roughly half of 30-49-year-olds do so,  as do about 7 in 10 of the 18-29 group.

Curators follow much the same pattern, but the gap widens between women and men to 7% points, with women far more likely to re-post photos or videos on picture-sharing sites (45% vs. 38%). Like creation, tendency to curate declines with age. Americans 65+ are least likely to repost photos and videos (20%), followed by those 50-64 (31%), 30-49 (42%) and 18-29 (63%).

Women, Youth Dominate Photo Sharing Sites

Pinterest is one of the most conspicuous photo/video posting sites, and one which women are far more inclined to use than men (19% of respondents vs. 5%). Of note, Pinterest use is higher among the more educated, with 8% of high school graduates (or with lesser education) using it, compared to 15% of those having some college, and 14% of those with a college or more advanced degree. Also true, 11% of respondents earning $30,000 or less use Pinterest, compared to 16% of those earning between $50,000 and $74,999. Finally, Pinterest use declines with age. 16% of respondents 18-29 use Pinterest, versus 12% of those aged 30-49, 13% of those aged 50-64, and just 4% of those aged 65+.

An August 2012 study from Pingdom found that among social sites, Pinterest was the most female dominated, at 79% female. By comparison, the same study found that women make up 60% of users on both Facebook and Twitter. Some male-dominated sites, according to Pingdom, include Slashdot (87% male), Hacker News (77%), and Stack Overflow (76%).

Meanwhile, the trends are similar for Instagram as for Pinterest, per the Pew results. Although the gender gap is virtually non-existent (12% of online women vs. 11% of online men), the age and education level differences remain. 8% of those with a high school education or less use Instagram, compared to 15% of those with some college education and 12% of those with a college degree or higher. Just 4% of respondents 65+ and 6% of those aged 50-64 use Instagram. Those figures are not too far below the 30-49 bracket (8%), with 18-29-year-olds easily outpacing the rest in Instagram adoption, at 27%.

About The Data: The Pew survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) which obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,005 adults living in the continental United States. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (600) and cell phone (405), including 196 without a landline phone. Interviews were done in English by Princeton Data Source from August 2-5, 2012. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ± 3.7 percentage points.


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