Press releases

3.5 million photos shared every minute in 2016

During Mobile World Congress, 20 billion photos will be shared by the world’s population

22 February 2016

  • 2.5 trillion photos will be shared or stored online in 2016 globally
  • 90 per cent of this year’s photos will be taken using a smartphone
  • This year’s photo sharing and storage will amount to 3.5 billion gigabytes of data

More than 3.5 million photos will shared every minute in 2016, according to the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) practice at Deloitte, the business advisory firm. Almost 60,000 photos will be shared every second this year.

According to Deloitte’s TMT Predictions 2016 report, released last month, it was estimated that 2.5 trillion photos will be shared or stored online globally in 2016, a 15 per cent increase from 2015. Of these, more than 1.875 trillion photos will be shared through social media and messaging services. This year, more than 5.1 billion photos will be shared every day, which, if printed would be enough to go to the Moon and back daily*.

More than 90 per cent of this year’s photos will be taken using a smartphone. Digital SLRs, compact cameras, tablets and laptops will collectively contribute the remainder.

The volume of photos being taken, shared and stored online will have considerable data implications. The expected network impact of photo sharing and online storage in 2016 will be around 3.5 exabytes (the equivalent of 3.5 billion gigabytes), a 20 per cent increase from 2015.

Paul Lee, partner and head of TMT research at Deloitte, comments: “These are big numbers. As smartphone cameras improve and networks get faster, the volume of photos that we share online will only grow.

“The smartphone has enabled portraits and other images to proliferate society by democratising photography like never before. In just one day – such as this year’s additional leap day – we will see another five billion photos shared globally.

“The desire for photos drives innovation, encourages smartphone upgrades and increases network usage. From selfie-stick wielding tourists to diners marking the arrival of every course, today’s smartphone users are determined to visually document almost every aspect of their lives.”

This week the industry will descend on Barcelona for the annual Mobile World Congress, where the latest smartphone technology will be showcased. Over the course of the four day event, the world will share more than 20 billion photographs online.


Notes to editors

*Assuming a standard photograph width of 6 x 4 inches (15 x 10 cm) and 384,403 kilometres from Earth to the Moon.

The analysis comes from Deloitte’s TMT Predictions 2016. Published last month, the report looks at the trends to be faced by the technology, media and telecommunications sectors in the next 12 months.

For a full copy of the report with all of the Deloitte predictions please visit

The 2016 series of TMT Predictions is the 15th edition of the report and has drawn on internal and external inputs from conversations with member firm clients, contributions from Deloitte member firms’ 7,000 partners and managers specialising in TMT, and discussions with industry analysts as well as interviews with leading executives from around the world and proprietary quantitative research.

About Deloitte
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

George Parrett
Deloitte LLP
+44 (0) 20 7007 7285

Did you find this useful?