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Study shows users would do a lot more if given the right photo tools

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 majority of users would spend more time editing if they had photos at your fingertips solutions

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.”

The Photos at your Fingertips report includes 27 charts and 13 tables. The premium version of the report also includes 1,158 verbatim respondent comments and counts 89 pages. The report can be ordered at

The report 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



Photo by Kristaps Bergfelds

Author: Paul Melcher

Paul Melcher is the founder of Kaptur and Managing Director of Melcher System, a consultancy for visual technology firms. He is an entrepreneur, advisor, and consultant with a rich background in visual tech, content licensing, business strategy, and technology with more than 20 years experience in developing world-renowned photo-based companies with already two successful exits.

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