Consumers' snap-happy addiction to photo sharing only going to get bigger, say Deloitte
Our addiction to photo sharing is expected to grow during 2016, with nearly 2.5 trillion snaps to be shared online, according to business advisors Deloitte.
The firm's Belfast technology partner, Danny McConnell, predicted 90% of the pictures would be taken using smartphones.
And social media would be the channel for most pictures.
Dr McConnell said: "As of the end of 2015 there were over 2,000 photo-sharing apps available.
"Some tools encourage keeping images for posterity, others emphasise the moment.
"Research shows that photos get 53% more 'likes' and 104% more click-throughs than text-only posts on social media.
"The more fervent reaction to social network posts with photos is likely to encourage yet more posts with images."
And the dominance of the smartphone in image sharing was due to their ubiquity and owners' fixation with 'selfie' self-portraits.
Deloitte expects 1.6 billion smartphones to be sold in total this year, around 23 times the peak sales of film cameras (70 million in 1999) and 13 times the peak for digital cameras (120 million in 2010). And the firm also estimates that the number of photos shared online is more than 30 times the volume of photos taken in the 1990s, when about 80 billion photos were taken every year.
According to Deloitte, in 2016, 26% of smartphone users in developed markets will not make any traditional phone calls in a given week.
However, users will instead prefer to communicate using a combination of messaging, voice and video services delivered over the internet.
But millenials - those aged 18 to 24 - were not ready to give up the personal computer.
Deloitte said: "Although regarded as the smartphone generation, this age group sees smartphones and PCs as complements, not substitutes.
"Its ownership, intent to purchase and use of PCs will likely be higher than any other age group in 2016."
Nonetheless, Dr McConnell said that firms should adapt a "mobile-first" strategy in 2016, especially if a market was targeting millenials.