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31/01/2013 by

Why Facebook Desperately Wants You To Share Your Photos

We’re seeing it over and over again: major social networks like Facebook and Twitter launching new features and apps that make it fun for users to share their photos and videos. But are they really just doing it for you? Mark Zuckerberg explains why Facebook wants its users to share photos, and possibly why exactly they acquired Instagram.

Twitter launched filters and more recently Vine, Facebook acquired Instagram and suddenly introduced its own photo filters for you to enjoy. Facebook profiles were adapted to be more suitable for sharing photos.

The explanation for all this is simple, right? The popularity of Instagram shows that people like photos, and photosharing. All these social networks are just trying to make things easier for us, because we like looking at pretty pictures so much and the networks want us to stick around. That is what the likes of Mark Zuckerberg have always told us.

According to the Huffington Post, however, the Facebook CEO told analysts last night that social networks want you to share your photos, so that brands can show you their ads without being too conspicuous.

When people become accustomed to seeing photos and videos posted by their friends on their news feeds, the more they will accept the fact that sponsored photos will appear in that same feed.

And according to Zuckerberg, it’s working. More photos are posted, and mobile Facebook users seem to be responding well to the increasing of ads on the mobile platform (he said there was only a “small drop in activity”).

So what it comes down to is that you, as a user, are making and sharing photos and videos with apps like Vine and Instagram so brands can cash in on theirs. Right?

My Opinion
Of course this is really no surprise. According to a study done by ROI Research, 44% of their respondents were more likely to engage with a brand if they used photos, than any other type of media.

Buddy Media states that a Facebook post containing a photo will receive 39% more interaction than another type of post. Tweets containing a photo had twice as much engagement than a tweet with no photo.

This all shows, we love photos, and brands know exactly how they can work with this. The CEOs of social networks will obviously go along with what brands want.

The acquisition of Instagram can also be explained by this, what better way to enable brands to share photos inconspicuously, than on the most popular photography app out there?

Users will always protest (the chaos surrounding Instagram’s controversy-ridden updated Terms of Service is proof of this) but once again get used to the increasing appearance of sponsored stories on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Your Opinion
What do you think? Will users increasingly leave social platforms once they know why they are encouraged to share photos?

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About the author
Marion aan ‘t Goor is a Social Media Consultant at Share Force One. You can connect with Marion via Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


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