28 November 2012
Image traffic is growing faster than video traffic in markets with high levels of smartphone penetration, according to data released today.
While video traffic has widely
been touted as a driver behind rising demand for data, image
traffic has been given less prominence meaning the report from
mobile internet solutions company Flash Networks may take some
telcos by surprise.
Flash found that image traffic in the Americas and Europe grew
33% over the last six months compared with 5% growth for video
In regions like Asia, where smartphone penetration is lower,
video traffic was found to still be growing faster than image
traffic. The report also found that approximately 85% of
overall traffic in saturated markets was running on
The rise in image traffic was attributed to mobile social
networks like Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.
Flash found that an Instagram version upgrade in September
alone increased image traffic by 20% for operators in the
Americas and Europe.
"With all the recent noise around video traffic, operators need
to ensure they are also prepared for the huge increase in
images on mobile networks," said Merav Bahat, VP of marketing
and business development at Flash Networks.
"Fortunately optimisation techniques can result in a
significant data reduction without sacrificing image quality,
enabling operators to cope with this latest burst in mobile
Flash collected the data for its report from several
Tier 1 operator networks located in Europe, Asia and the
Americas, serving a total of over 200 million
Other reports have come up with supporting findings, according
to the company. comScore discovered a nearly 8.5 times increase
in Instagram mobile users in less than six months, while
Diffbot reported that 36% of all links shared on Twitter are
images and 42% of all Tumblr posts are photos.