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The Growing Life of Social Media Images Online


Images have long had a presence online, but as a recent New York Times article points out, pictures and videos alone are becoming their own form of communication.

This trend is perhaps best seen in the relatively new app Snapchat. The app enables users to send a picture or video, which disappears after the recipient views it. It’s casual, fleeting and a sign of this new kind of image-centric communication.

Of course, many other platforms are playing host to image conversations. Consider these statistics:

  • People share an average of 45 million photos a day on Instagram, and 16 billion since the app’s inception three years ago.
  • Facebook users share 100 billion photos per year (or 300 million daily).
  • Newcomer Snapchat boasts 200 million images daily, up from 50 million per day in December.

And then there are the apps that send short videos. WhatsApp processes 27 billion messages (video, photo, text, and audio) daily. And Vine, Twitter’s six-second video-sharing app, has attracted 13 million users since it launched in January.

Of course, there’s another added bonus to communicating via images: no language barrier. This, and the sheer fun and ease of swapping photos via the Internet, it's no surprise how popular this trend has become.

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