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Mobile Advertising, Mobile Marketing

Weekly Mobile Breakdown: Photo Sharing Communities Driving Sales

Tina Products/Markets Analyst
June 7, 2012

Social photo sharing communities have been around since the Dotcom boom.  Some, such as Flickr, debuted in the 90s, while a few in particular have been all the rage for the past year (Instagram, anyone?). As the number of consumers actively participating in these communities grow, more businesses are seeing it as profitable outlets to advertise their goods and services. In fact, there is so much confidence in the effectiveness of photo sharing advertising in driving sales that Pinterest got $100M in funding from one of the world’s largest online commerce sites, Rakuten, to expand their user base and jump into the online selling space. Last week, eMarketer released insights on just how effective these photo-sharing communities have been as an advertising tool—it seems these sites are showing a good amount of potential as profitable advertising channels.













Based on the charts above, below are some key highlights and takeaways I think are important for mobile marketers & advertisers to consider.


  • Thirty two percent of online buyers in North America have made a purchase as a result of seeing an image on a social image-sharing site
  • Twenty six percent of online buyers were able to click through to the retailer from the image to make the purchase
  • Six percent had to look for the product on another site as click the image did not take them to a retailer
  • Blogs and Pinterest were the most effective social media channels, relative to Facebook and Twitter



  • As advertisers channel ad spend to mobile photo sharing communities, they will also channel ad spend and resources to the mobile photo sharing channel
  • Of these photo sharing communities, Pinterest will see a steady increase of brands actively advertising their goods and services
  • Advertisers’ marketing strategies for the mobile photo sharing channel will evolve to become more targeted and effective to make it easier for consumers to find and purchase their products
  • ARPU for the mobile photo sharing channel will most likely peak at some point as the space becomes saturated and the number of users in these mobile photo sharing communities flattens

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