How Many Images Are on The Internet? (and Other Fascinating Facts)

The number of images taken by a person has increased drastically with the change from the film era to the digital era. Now, you can easily take an image using your smartphone camera or any digital camera and store it digitally. If you don’t like the image, you can erase it and go for a recapture.

Photo collection on phone

It’s very interesting to know the number of images taken every second/ minute/ week/ year. Some of these images are taken by a dedicated digital camera, whereas others by a smartphone. What percentage of all these images land on the internet and stock photography sites? You will find the answers to all these questions in this article and many more.

Let’s get into the fun facts starting with….

How many photos are taken every second/ minute/ day/ week/ year?

The number of photos taken by billions of people around the world is huge. If you take the yearly count, it will be more than two trillion images per year. If you are looking for the photo count taken every week, it will be roughly around 38 billion pictures per week.

When you convert it into per day count, it will be 5.5 plus billion images per day. So, it will be like 3.8 million images captured every minute. More than sixty thousand images get taken every second.

How many photos exist on the internet?

All the photos that you click will not land on the internet. Some will remain in the smartphone storage and a few others in the hard drives. Let us see the number of images that get uploaded to the internet. The total number of pictures uploaded on the internet will be really huge. People will still be uploading many images while I am writing this.

More than 3.2 billion photos get uploaded to the internet daily. So, you can imagine how many pictures have already been uploaded to the internet. It is practically impossible to tell the exact number of images already on the internet since it is a huge one. If you consider for one year, it will be more than 1168 billion. This number will keep on increasing year after year.

How many stock photos are on the internet?

When it comes to stock photography, there are macro stock and micro stock agencies. Stock photography is one of the best ways to generate income from your images. Many photographers upload their images to these sites to generate some income. And they upload a ton of photos in the hope of making a buck. The number of stock images on the internet will be well above 1 billion.

Stock photo company

As you all know, Shutterstock is one of the biggest stock photography agencies. They have got more than 350 million images uploaded to their website. Adobe Stock images and Alamy are the two other big names when it comes to stock photography. Both these stock photography websites have got more than 300 million images each. Other agencies like Depositphotos, 123RF, iStock, and Dreamstime have around 200 million images. There are many other macro and micro stock photography agencies too. You can also find free stock photography sites like Unsplash and Pexels. They offer around 1 million plus images each.

What was the first image on the internet?

The first image was shared on the internet on 18 July 1992. It was uploaded to the internet by none other than Tim Burners Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web. The first image was a group photo of four women. These four women were from the “Les Horrible Cernettes” comedy band. This band was created by a group of employees from the European Organisation for Nuclear Research in Switzerland.

This image was captured by an analyst from CERN’s computer science department. He was the colleague of Tim Burners Lee. This image was actually shot for promotional purposes for a stage show.

How many photos are shared online daily/ yearly?

As you all know, all the photos that one captures will not get shared online. Only a very few images from the big lot will get shared. The popular platforms where people share their photos include Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. There is an Internet trends report published by KPCB analyst Mary Meeker that shares the number of photos shared per day. According to this report, around 1.8 billion pictures get shared each day. When you translate this number for a year, it will be 657 billion pictures per year. This number will keep on increasing every year.

Among all the photo sharing platforms, Snapchat is the leader when it comes to the number of pictures shared daily. They are followed by Instagram and Facebook.

What percentage of photos are taken with phones vs cameras?

With the rise in camera technology in smartphones, we see people using a smartphone to take family and friends pictures. It has resulted in the shrinkage of the point and shoot camera segment. Thus, there is a rise in the percentage of images captured using smartphone cameras.

Taking a photo with a phone

The percentage of pictures captured using smartphones is around 93 percent. Only 7 percent of the pictures are taken using a digital camera like an interchangeable lens camera or a point and shoot camera. We will see an increase in the percentage of the number of photos taken using smartphones in the coming years. Both Android phones and iPhones are taken into account in the smartphone category.

How many videos are on the internet?

Now, people are more interested in watching videos than photos. Many thanks to the good internet speed that is available in most of the countries. Popular social media sites like Facebook and Instagram also focus more on video content nowadays. So, the number of videos is going to be huge.

If you take YouTube, the most popular post video site, every minute, more than 1000 hours of video get uploaded from different parts of the world. It will be more than 60,000 hours of video per hour. It accounts for more than 1,440,000 hours of content per day. It will be more than 500 million hours of content every year. This data is for YouTube alone. There are many other sites like Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

If you take the percentage of video content on the internet, it will be more than 80 percent. The text and pictures will only account for less than 20 percent of the content on the internet. The percentage of video content in the internet is increasing every year.

How many photos are there on Facebook?

Facebook is one of the social media sites where people share their pictures. The total number of active users on Facebook is around 3 billion. Pictures are one of the popular content types on Facebook. Pictures help to increase the engagement rate of a post. Every user on Facebook will be uploading images. Around 350 million pictures get uploaded to Facebook daily. So, there will be more than 700 billion photos on Facebook.

How many photos of you are on the internet?

The answer to this question is really tricky. The number of images will vary for different persons. The number of images will be quite high if you are a person who uploads pictures to the internet quite often. Your friends will be uploading pictures where you will be in the frame. As of now, it is impossible to get the exact number of your images on the internet. But we are seeing a great advancement in Artificial Intelligence technology, especially in imaging. So, you can expect to get an exact number in the near future.

How many online images are stolen every day?

It is tough to control the usage of pictures that you upload to the internet. There was a report from Copytrack that shows that around 2.5 billion images gets stolen every day. Whenever you upload any picture to the internet, there is no guarantee that it is safe over there. The interesting fact is that around 85 percent of the pictures that are uploaded to the internet get stolen. In most cases, the photographer or the artist who has created that image will not know about this image theft. There are no proper ways to control image theft on the internet.

If you see the percentage-wise distribution of image theft for different continents, then North America is at the top of the list. They account for 33.9 percent of the overall image theft. It is followed by Europe with 31 percentage and 29.38 percent by Asia. It is less than 3 percent in continents like Australia, South America, and Africa. The higher percentage in other continents is because there are more internet users over there.

If you check the country-wise percentage, the USA will be in the number one place with 22.96 percent, followed by Panama with 6.76 percent and China with 6.57 percent. These stolen images are used to create wallpapers and large galleries. So, high resolution images in the size of 1920×1080 are the popular resolution targeted by image thieves. If you want to avoid the unnecessary use of your image on the internet, the best way is to upload the image in the lowest possible resolution as well as use a watermark. It will ensure that the image is less prone to theft.

What is the most popular photo on the internet?

There are many famous photos on the internet. Out of all these images, one stands out from the rest of the images. It is the iconic Windows XP wallpaper. This image was captured by photographer Charles O’ Rear. It is the world’s most viewed picture. He took this image in 1990. He was on his way to see his girlfriend, and he stopped the car somewhere on California’s Sonoma highway and captured this beautiful scene. He had done many photography works for famous high profile magazines, that include National Geographic.

How many photos does the average person have on their phone?

Nowadays, we are getting smartphones with higher storage capacities like 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, etc. Thus, the issue of lack of storage space happens much less. So, there is no need to move the images from the phone to your computer or an external hard drive. As per the report from Gigaom, an average user will have 630 photos stored on his phone.

How many people have camera phones?

Nowadays, it is really tough to find a phone without a camera. More than 95 percent of the phones come with a camera. There are around 4.3 billion phone users worldwide. Some of them even have multiple phones. The total number of phones around the world is around 5.2 billion.

Girl snapping a photo with her phone

How many photos exist? (not just on the internet)

Only a small percentage of photos that we take get uploaded to the internet. The rest of the pictures will remain idle in the storage space in your phone, computer, or external hard drive. Around 2 trillion images are being captured every year using different types of cameras. You can imagine the huge amount of images that exist. It will be really tough to tell the exact huge number of images that still exists on the hard drives across different parts of the world and some uploaded to the internet.

Countries that store most photos & least photos on phone

Some people like to store all the photos on their phones whereas others don’t prefer it. Let’s see the average number of photos saved by people from different countries. We will have a look at the most and the least photos saved. This report is based on the research from Avast (an Antivirus company).

South Korea holds the top position when it comes to storing photos on their phone. The average number of photos stored is 1417. Malaysia is in the second place with 1300 and Switzerland is in the third place with 1237.

When it comes to the country with the least number of photos stored, it is Vietnam, with an average of 397 photos stored on phones. Russia is in second place with 447 average images, and Ukraine is in third place with 465 images.

Which age group of people stores more photos and the least?

The Avast conducted this research by dividing people into four age groups. According to their research, people aged 18 to 24 years store the least amount of photos (836 photos). The age group 45 to 54 years stores around 911 photos on average. People in the age group of 35 to 44 years store 1050 pictures on average. Most photos stored were seen for the age group between 25 to 34 years. They store around 1067 photos on average.

When you make this comparison for men and women, it was found that men store 24 percent fewer photos than women. The average number of pictures stored by women was around 1053 images. The number of photos stored by men was around 851 photos on average. 

I hope you found this article fascinating.

Consider reading this article to learn the basics of stock photography.

By Nicholas

Nicholas is a staff writer at Photodoto. His interests include photography, collecting cameras old and new, video editing, and all things 3d. If a new gadget comes out on the market, he's sure to be the first to try it. He enjoys experimenting with low light photography, very long exposures and high speed filming.

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