Solving the “drowning in photos” problem will have a major impact on consumer photo behavior

With versatile photo organizing solutions coming to market, Suite 48 Analytics study foresees significant increase in photo editing, sharing, taking and ordering photo print products


What if consumers were no longer doomed to drown in their ever-growing pool of photos? What if they could easily find the photos they care about in a matter of seconds? These are the core questions addressed in the new “Photos at your Fingertips” study, conducted by mobile photo research firm Suite 48 Analytics. The firm asked 1009 North American smartphone and digital camera photographers to assess various photo organizing methods, as well as the expected impact hypothetical “Photos at your Fingertips” solutions would have on their photo organizing headaches.

The short answer: consumers would do a lot more with their photos. Editing and sharing would see the largest increase, followed by taking photos and turning photos into prints. 41% of the respondents expect to edit more and 12 % “way more” photos when such Photos at your Fingertips solutions become available.

The study also describes a range of approaches to solving the “drowning in photos” problem:

Photo consolidation solutions, such as personal in-home device syncing solutions, family in-home device aggregation solutions, cloud device syncing, cloud device aggregation, and cloud services aggregation solutions

Photo classifying solutions, such as image metadata solutions and image content analysis solutions (image recognition, face recognition)

Auto-curation solutions, such as photo story apps

Subjective context analysis solutions, such as behavior-based classification

Hans Hartman, principal author of the study, believes that the checkerboard of photo organizing solutions currently on the market could be improved relatively easily through developers treating their solutions less as silos and instead connecting more with other photo organizing solutions or non-photo data sources.

“If a solution can identify when and where the photo is taken, why not pull up third party weather information so that the user could find photos taken on occasions when the weather was hot, freezing, cloudy, or rainy? Or find photos taken during a specific sports game, concert, or a certain Twitter hashtag explosion?”

He also recommends that photo organizing solutions think creatively about study findings that indicate consumers are not necessarily as technically advanced or inclined as developers might believe.

“For many respondents organizing photos into folders on their computer is the ingrained method of choice. They might hate it or they might think they don’t have enough time to do it, but that’s where they are coming from. Developers should keep this in mind and be creative in building solutions that don’t assume everyone is familiar with tags, let alone auto-generated tags.”


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The Photos at your Fingertips report includes 13 tables and 27 graphs, and it addresses the following topics:

Solutions for Solving the Problem

  • Consolidating photos

  • Classifying photos

Taking and Finding Photos

  • Photo taking devices

  • Number of photos taken

  • “Long life” vs. “short life” photos

  • Storing photos in the cloud

  • Difficulty of locating specific photos

  • Respondent quotes

Photos at Your Fingertips – Features

  • Importance of search criteria

  • Importance of search enhancers

  • Willingness to trade off

  • Respondent quotes

Photos at Your Fingertips – Behavioral Impact

  • Taking photos, editing photos, sharing photos, ordering photo products

  • Respondent quotes

Publication date:
November 2015