In the SF tech bubble that I live in, most of the talk about photo sites has been centered on Flickr. In fact, you could get the impression from most people I meet that Flickr is the ONLY site at which you can share and store photos. Examination of the category however, shows that Flickr is #6 among the top 10 photo sharing sites, with a market share of 5.95%. Industry standbys like Yahoo! Photos, Webshots Community, and Kodak Gallery currently rank higher than Flickr.
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.