Photobucket Dominates Photo Sharing Market

Posted on June 23, 2006

PhotobucketFlickr is a popular photo sharing tool but a Hitwise report shows that Photobucket is actually the industry leader with a strong 44% market share.
Photobucket dominates the category, with a 44% market share. It surpassed Yahoo! Photos in January, and its share of visits increased by 34% in the four months from February 2006 to May 2006. Flickr, my friends should be happy to note, has also been growing rapidly, increasing 44% in the past four months, and up from a rank of #9 in this category one year ago (week ending 6/18/05). Slide has also taken off this spring, with its visits increasing more than ten fold in the past four months.

Photobucket, Slide, and Imageshack are all image hosting sites, and MySpace is their primary source of traffic. In fact, MySpace was responsible for 76% of Slide's traffic in May 2006, 56% of Photobucket's traffic, and 50% of Imageshack's traffic. The growth of Photobucket and Slide go hand in hand the growth of consumer generated content and social networking sites, as I've reported before. It's amazing to consider that the 1.39% of the downstream traffic from MySpace that goes to Photobucket could be largely responsible for Photobucket's category dominance.

Photobucket is used more as an image hosting tool while Flickr is known as a photo sharing tool. Many of the images users keep on Photobucket are not photographs they have taken. However, Photobucket continues to add new features as you can see in their blog. How did Photobucket become so popular? The Hitwise article says the social networking behemoth MySpace is Photobucket's primary source of traffic. The Ponderings of Woodrow also lists some media mentions that may have helped Photobucket. Imageshack, another image hosting tool, is also ahead of Flickr according to the Hitwise report.

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