As the digital consumer continues to change, so does the platform they use to communicate and share. The big boys such as Facebook, Twitter, and now Foursquare are becoming staple tactics for all future campaigns. Knowing what is next could be the game-changer needed to separate yourself from the competition.
A key theme among existing social networks is the ability to upload and share photos. As Justin Timberlake put it in his role in “The Social Network” as Sean Parker, “It is the true digitalization of one’s life.” From the beginning, the idea of social networks and sharing photos has been connected. Flickr, Picasa, and Photobucket have demonstrated how social photo sharing can be successful. Facebook alone is seeing 100 million photo uploads every day – an indication of how much this concept has grown.
While this trend was already growing, the increase market penetration of smartphones and improved camera functionality allows a massively engaged audience to snap high-quality photos and share them in seconds.
This new wave of sharing has lead to the launch of a number of photo-sharing applications. Probably one of the most popular is Instagram: an iPhone photo application that lets you take photos and apply filters to transform the look and feel. The altered photos can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, or Flickr. Instagram has an estimated 1 million users, just shy of two months after launching, with two to three photo uploads per second.
Another new service is Path, also an iPhone App, and unlike Instagram, photos live on a separate social network where only friends or those with access can view your photos.
Why Brands Should Care
As brands look to create conversation, they should look to incorporate mobile photos along with the deals and check-ins, which we are all currently using. While a check-in will help you learn more about the consumer and generate interest from their social graph, incorporating an image will produce longer lasting connections with the user and their friends. Not to mention a connection that includes your brand.
A perfect example of a brand that successfully mixed mobile photo sharing and social networks is Courvoisier. Users checked in to participating venues across London, which were serving Courvoisier cocktails in limited edition punch bowls. Consumers who checked in to one of the participating venues, took the most imaginative picture with the punchbowl, and entered it via Facebook or Twitter became eligible to win a prize.
By successfully integrating the photo feature, Courvoisier was able to get its brand in front of millions of users.