Top 10 websites to find photos taken at your event
You've been fostering the shared experience by politely asking attendees of your event to add a hashtag, right? So where are all those photos? Most likely on one of these ten websites - here’s how to find them.
Of the 480 million people who sign into Facebook every day, more than half of them upload photos - that’s more than 200 million photos a day!
To get people to upload even more photos, Facebook released a new mobile photo sharing app named 'Camera', a standalone app, separate from the Facebook mobile app. Photos uploaded from a desktop computer or with a mobile app, searching for photos of your event on Facebook is performed in the same way. To start, a simple keyword search on Facebook.
Note that it is everything, not just photos. In order to search just for shared photos, Bing now offers deep Facebook integration in its search results, too. Google also offers customized Facebook searching (via query prefix “site”).
Second only to Facebook is Instagram as the most popular place to find shared photos. Instagram's popularity comes from its excellent user experience and unique filters that give any photo a nostalgic Polaroid feel. Searching Instagram for photos taken at your venue/event is done by either keyword or hashtag.
It is recommended that you take the time to install the Instagram app and establish an account. Doing so will allow you to connect directly with your attendees as they share their experience.
Photography is now a major part of Google as seen by the recent photographers conference in San Fransisco. The company offers the their tried and true Google Image search, as well as a stand alone photo sharing service named Picasa and the Google+ platform for photo sharing. A recently released a new version of the Google+ mobile app is heavily weighted toward sharing photos in order to stay competitive with the Facebook effort mentioned earlier.
Using the standard Google image search for photos taken at your venue/event is a good starting point, with the best result occurring immediately after the event.
For years many third-party photo sharing sites offered the option to "share on Twitter" when uploading photos primarily because Twitter themselves did not offer a way to share photos. In 2010, Twitter expanded its functionality to allow people to attach photos to tweets. Since then, Twitter has been fine tuning the feature and photos are now part of the Twitter search function.
It is important to note that Twitter search results can be filtered to be location specific by clicking on 'Advanced search". Filtering by location is a powerful option for events like a multi-city tour, removing photos taken at other locations and showing only photos taken at your venue.
Often overlooked, location based service Foursquare is a great resource for shared photos. Each Foursquare venue has its own web page displaying the activity, number of check-ins and it also displays all the photos taken.
If you haven't yet claimed your venue on Foursquare, we encourage you to do so. If you are a current ThunderTix customer, our offer to help you claim your venue is available, just ask!
Pinterest combines multiple types of media, not just photos, under the unique "pins" description. Pins of interests focus on a wide array of topics, but searching for your event on Pinterest is worthwhile based on its meteoric rise in popularity, especially among women. Website engagement specialist ComScore said that Pinterest had 11.7 million unique monthly visitors in January 2012. Search results cannot be filtered by a single media type, so each pin is shown in search results are photos, videos, blog posts, news articles, etc.
Like Foursquare, Yelp isn't the first thing that comes to mind when searching for photos of your venue/event, but few minutes spent there and you can see the value. Ranked as the number one most trusted review site, Yelp's vast number of crowd sourced reviews are rich with trusted photos.
Here's the same venue example used for Foursquare, Beauty Bar in Las Vegas, here: https://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/DV13F0bhe55dV1AhwoO50g
Note there are easily ten times more photos of the Beauty Bar on Yelp than there are on Foursquare!
The same strong encouragement to claim your venue on Foursquare also applies to Yelp. Having control of how people perceive your venue is an important part of the shared experience. If there are already reviews about your business on Yelp, it is best to take the time to claim it.
The original Twitter-based photosharing sharing websites, Twitpic has accumulated millions of photos and is still in pervasive use. Twitpic offers their service as an app for both iPhone and soon for Android, too.
Unlike some of the other platforms listed here, searching Twitpic for photos taken at your venue/event can be performed without having to sign-up for an account. A Twitpic exclusive feature is their "real time" display of photos from a keyword search. If you are interested in extremely up-to-the-minute results for photos being taken at your venue/event, Twitpic's realtime search is a recommended resource.
Another of the very first photosharing sites is Yfrog and has become the favorite service of many celebrities like Katy Perry.
Different from Twitpic, Yfrog constrains search to be by person, not keyword, but that is not the limitation you think it is. If you perform a keyword search for a photo of your event on Twitter, one or more of the sources is likely to be from Yfrog. Click through to the original source and see if the there are additional photos of your event publicly available on their Yfrog page.
If your event has a performance by a well known celebrity, Yfrog may be the best place to start searching for photos.
The oldest photo sharing site of them all, Flickr was established in 2003 and acquired by Yahoo in 2005. Using Flickr to search for photos of your venue/event is similar to using Google Image search since results can be sorted by time, relevancy, location, and unique "interesting-ness" filter. Example search results for "Punk rock bowling" here:
Also unique to Flickr is the fully integrated Creative Commons licensing filter. Searching by license is important because Flickr is used by many professional photographers who, unlike your event attendee, have guidelines on the use of the photographs they take.
Speaking of licensing, always observe the license applied to shared photos. The majority of people who share their photos on-line use the default licensing that is assigned by the platform the photo was uploaded to. Less about privacy, more about doing the right thing, should you find a great photo of your venue or event, a simple polite request to the person who shared is often all that is needed. You already have an established connection, they were your guest at your event, so asking if you can display their photo as part of your marketing efforts should be easy.
We hope this list has given you the incentive to start politely asking your attendees to use your hashtag when uploading pictures.