What drives you to choose a service to share photos online?

Flickr.

Photobucket.

Facebook.

These are just some of the many options available these days for sharing photos online. I’ve always wondered what are the true drivers for one person to choose one option over the other, so that is why I started this online poll at LinkedIn.

What drives you to choose a service to share photos online?


Ease of use is the king feature not only across genders but also across age groups.

A male search engine marketing specialist explains the reasoning behind the the preference of ease of use:

Ease of use for me. I do not want to spend hours figuring out on how to customize the features. Another factor for me would be the strength of privacy features.

What about price?

Surprisingly, price was not indicated as major influence in selecting a service to share photos online.  Only 6% of all respondents pointed out price as the major driver for selecting a service to share photos online.

A plausible explanation for this is provided by a male HR software developer:

I worry more about online services that never charge at any level. Its a good bet they will not be in business for a long time. I rather spend a small amount, get some hard copy pics my kid can hold, and have a service that will be around in the long term.

In general people don’t mind spending money on keeping their pictures safely stored, either online or at home. A female real state financial analyst reported spending spending $129 at Costo to purchase a 500GB hard drive and several respondents told me that they have no problem dishing out the close to $25 dollars/year for a Flickr Pro account.

Even though, people in general are willing to spend some money in keeping or sharing their photos online, they are easily turned off by hidden charges.

A female law student provides an example:

I will tell you what completely turned me off: Kodak Gallery recently started threatening to delete your account if you didn’t make any purchases from them within a certain time period. I ordered back-up discs of all pics I had on there and deleted my account myself!

What about other features?

Throughout the gathering of the answers, there was a constant demand for other answer options. Here are a couple ones.

I use Flickr because it has an open API, and as a result, there are millions of 3rd party applications and easy ways to embed in websites without having to use a flickr-branded widget. Flickr, Picasa, Kodak, Shutterfly, etc, are all pretty easy use, but Flickr is easy to use, tag and share. – Male sales engineer.

For me, “unlimited” is only one “acceptable” storage size. But, because I’m not a professional photographer, more than 5 GB is same as unlimited. - Male programmer.

I agree with the sharing a large amount of photos easily, and sharing those photos without making the people you are sending your photos to create an account to see them!!! - Female law student.

Conclusion

When developing an online photo sharing service, make your number one priority that it is easy to use. A second important feature is that it needs to be highly viral (“my friend are already there!”).  However, your service doesn’t necessary need to be the “talk of the town”. Users of online photo sharing services prefer user friendliness over “what’s hot now” any time.

If you build an easy-to-use product that is highly viral, your own users entitle you to charge a price. Just make sure that you’re very clear about that price.

Damian Davila

Ideas and concepts from Damian Davila, Ecuatoriano thriving in Hawaii. Pro marketer and blogger. Find him at @idaconcpts on Twitter.