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Does the number of users a platform has, really make a difference to your views?

This is a question that comes up all too frequently and i have written quite a few articles on Linkedin about it. So to dispel the myths i thought i would carry out an experiment.

What is the myth?

A common statement is that, Clickasnap does not have a huge user base versus Flickr and Instagram. This is completely true and i will not deny it. But, what does this really mean to the average user? Does having 50 million users on a platform really make a difference vs 50,000? I know for experience it doesn’t. What really drives the interaction with your content, and therefore your views, and then your sales and income is you. That’s it.

The internet is a vast place and unless the site you are using is a ‘walled garden’ (facebook for example) then any user, anywhere in the World can fire up their browser and find your content, no matter where you have posted it. The key? It’s not how many users the platform you’re on has, it’s down to the research you have done to find what people are looking for, the work you have done to compose, take and edit the pictures and finally the work you have done to ensure that the content is titled, tagged and described in such a way that it relates to what people want and are looking for. Do these things right, and you have a recipe for success in your chosen photographic field

To prove this, i did a simple experiment. I created a new account with Flickr and a new account on ClickAsnap. I uploaded the same photo, with the same title and the same tags to both at the same time. Later on that day i checked in on both photos, interestingly Clickasnap had had more views than the Flickr one, and the Flickr photo had a grand total of 1 view, yet they have 50 million users! Surely that can’t be correct! I’m uploading a photo of a cute dog to a platform with 50 million users, if the userbase had any bearing on the volume of views a photo got, surely we should have a vast amount of views, even if by accident!

So, now we’ve established that a userbase has little effect on views, why is this? The truth is, platforms like Youtube, Facebook , and Flickr all rely on you, as the user, to pay them to show your content to more people. Their entire business models are based on this fact. Yes, the odd video or photo may go viral, but do you know that the odds of this happening are actually less than you winning the lottery? So, next time you decide what platform to use, bear these facts in mind and judge the platform on what it offers you, not what that platforms userbase is, because the only people that those platforms make money for, are their shareholders.

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