This article was published on May 31, 2011

Asians like to share photos while Europeans keep them private, study finds

Asians like to share photos while Europeans keep them private, study finds

As online social sharing becomes increasingly common in connected societies around the world, the differences in how different cultures approach it can be fascinating.

Case in point: Nokia has published some research from Cint today, which looks at mobile photography habits of 8000 people across 8 countries: China; the Philippines; the USA; Sweden; Singapore; India; Italy and Switzerland. Probably the most interesting finding is the stark difference in how people in the Asian countries surveyed dealt with their photos, compared to the European countries.

China, India and the Philippines came out as the top countries for sharing their photos online. Conversely, the top countries for stroing photos on their computer were Italy, Switzerland and Sweden. “People in Switzerland and Sweden are very critical when it comes to online sharing, believing that people tend to upload quite embarrassing photos when they probably shouldn’t,” Nokia says.

Unsurprisingly, though, it’s younger people who share their photos online the most. Bucking the overall regional trends, Nokia notes that 30% of Swiss men between the ages of 15 and 25 upload photos to social media sites, while women in the same age group are more likely to take and share photos of themselves than any other group.

Sure, this is no definitive study, but it does point to clear differences in approaches to sharing online dependent on culture. This has been seen elsewhere with the recent German furore over Street View, for example, leading the country to be nicknamed ‘Blurmany’ by some after it was decreed that houses of people who objected to being included in Google’s service be pixelated.

Regional cultural differences are something that startups should definitely keep in mind when building service that target specific markets and it would be great to see some larger-scale research on the topic in the future.