Half of the internet uploads photos these days, it seems


The creative class keeps on rising, and expanding.

For the first time, over half of the US adult internet population has posted a photo or video, according to the latest data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Pew surveyed 1000 adults and found that 54% of adult internet users have posted some of their own photos or video to the web. Last year, that figure was 46%, meaning that 8% of adults on the internet posted their own photos or video to the web within the last year.


Almost as many are content curators—47% have shared a photo or video that someone else uploaded. I checked the crosstabs for how many of those were cat macros, but sadly, Pew didn’t ask that question.

“Pictures document life from a special angle,” stated Maeve Duggan, one of the authors of the study, with no apparent trace of irony.

For the first time, Pew did ask adult internet users whether they used certain apps. Turns out 18% use Instagram and 9% use Snapchat. There’s no data on teens, though, for which Snapchat ought to be substantially higher.

Another caveat to those numbers: Pew didn’t ask how many of the people who are “using” Instagram and Snapchat if they were also posting pictures to the service, or just looking at the feeds of the people they follow.

With the rise of smartphones (only 4% in the survey didn’t know what the term meant), it’s no surprise to find that everyone is a photographer these days. Even on pro-leaning Flickr, the most popular camera is an iPhone—and so is the second most popular, and the third.


The margins of error of Pew’s results varied from +/- 3.7–4.0 percentage points.


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