Cloud digital storage for photos has been around for quite some time. But what started out as simple storing of images has evolved into a social media-fuelled landscape. There are many sites out there that offer simple storage. But where do you go to interact? Mobile phones have grown into smartphones and many of them offer manufacturers’ storage online with inbuilt apps to allow you to share your photos with family and friends, provided they use the same brand of phone or operating system.
The transition is seamless because users can then log into a desktop computer and retrieve those same photographs from the cloud. In fact, smartphones can be set to upload to cloud storage straight away, removing the need for users to eat into the storage – either inbuilt or on a solid state memory card.
This is the point where image storage software evolved and made good use of social media. Some hived off completely and just became image sharing platforms, without storage. But others began to store images and share them in forums. This process evolved further into software that has very cool features such as complex algorithms which crunch the numbers in terms of likes, clicks, reach and engagement, cross tabulated with the time it took for them to be accumulated. Once the calculations take place, these photographs are ranked by how interesting they are.
But sharing photos online is not all just about how popular the image itself is. It is also a place to learn in taking to the comments boards where whole threads will be set up to discuss anything from editing formulas to aperture and exposure times. Many of these social media are more technical than the standard platforms and tend to also attract advertising from camera and photography companies. In short, there are two types of platforms: one for the casual mobile phone user and another type of platform which is more technical and often related to DSLR equipment.