YouTube is now bigger than Flickr

by Cem Basman


People have more fun watching TV than a photo album.

Addendum: Ryan Bilsborrow-Koo compares ten video sharing services. Good reading. And there are 30+ service reviews here and a list of 40 services here. [2006-04-30]


In my eyes, Flickr was/is not the success it is, because of the pure photo album functionality - it's more the social side of it all, which I did not see or ever feel at youtube. Maybe that's just me, but I even though I enjoy watching videos at youtube, I hardly ever have the urge to talk to people who put them online, while I already have a couple of new friends from Flickr.

Dominik Schwind, 2006-04-28

Maybe this is the same effect like in the victory of the talkies over the silent film in the motion pictures industry. Even if many believe the esthetic quality of cinema decreased. I dunno.

Maybe the couch potato just won.

Cem Basman, 2006-04-29

I guess there are just two different, if intersecting, target groups. And the group who likes to watch short amusing videos is probably a lot bigger than the one who can spend a lot of time with pictures. After all, movies - with sounds or not - didn't bring the end to photography.

Dominik Schwind, 2006-04-29

I cannot take rankings like Alexa seriously when they need the installation of a toolbar to calculate their numbers - and when that toolbar is only likely to be install by a special set of the internet.

Hands up, how many of the people reading here have it installed? I am assuming just a minimal percentage.

That those people who are likely to install this are also likely to prefer video over photos is also highly likely for me, so no wonder "it is bigger" now.

Nicole Simon, 2006-04-29

Nicole, this is certainly true. But, however, I think you can see a trend: flickr remains quite static and youtube is constantly moving upwards.

Cem Basman, 2006-04-29

I don't think these are competing markets - only vaguely similar in that they involve the display/sharing of content. If flickr were being compared to another photo sharing site the results would be significant or comparing youtube to a different video site (or even a mixed content site like
And yes, I agree that these results are skewed anyhow. These results only represent a percentage of total surfers and their preferences.

Dr MindHacker

Cory Michael Boston, 2006-04-29

Interesting, but the author is comparing apples with oranges.

It is similar to comparing the number of people who watch World Wrestling Entertainment vs the number of people who visit the Louvre. Both are forms of entertainment, but the audience has substantially different expectations.

John Benson, 2006-04-29

IMHO, Alexa ratings are too skewed. The nielson//netratings are a much better source to measure with.

James Phelps, 2006-04-30

Yeah as said before, alexa stats are to be taken with a grain of salt. The only thing this really says is that more YouTube users have alexa spyware installed, leading to the conclusion that flickr users are smarter about what is installed on their computer.

Paul Stamatiou, 2006-04-30

Yes, it's not about absolute numbers. It's about trends. And sure, in a certain way it's compairing apples and oranges (but who started the Flickr for video meme anyway?).

Another thing: any Flickr-afficionados around, who can explain why the service made this recent jump upwards (in terms of reach and pageviews)?

hubert gertis, 2006-04-30

I'd guess that over 95% of the photos on Flickr were created by the people who uploaded them. I'd put that number way down for YouTube. Many of the videos posted there are clips from mainstream media posted illegally that YouTube turns a blind eye to.

Pete Prodoehl, 2006-04-30

Alexa is certainly not the perfect way to establish statistics about site usage. You need to have the Alexa spyware installed in your Internet Explorer, so that they can collect data. If you compare two sites, one of them may have a larger percentage of Alexa "users" while the other one does not. In this respect, there is no good evidence that YouTube has indeed a larger traffic than Flickr. My site has very few Internet Explorer users, and I have no idea how many of those are using Alexa. Thus I do not rely on Alexa's statistics.

What I find interesting however, are the trends. YouTube seems to enjoy continued growth while Flickr is relatively stable. It would be interesting to know what has changed in April.

Volker Weber, 2006-04-30

I don't think I'm comparing apples with oranges. People have a certain amount of time they spend for entertainment (in the web). In this time slot it seems they spend more and more time with youtube than with flickr. Yes, it's about trends in behavior of hedonistic users in the web.

This has nothing to do which of these two sites I prefer ... ;)

Cem Basman, 2006-04-30

Now there are even tools like that allows you to download videos on YouTube. So what's there not to like about them?!

Larry Lim, 2006-06-04

I think it is logical that video sharing grows faster than pictures, because of the growth of bandwith of internet connections and the people who have video cameras...

Alexander Bertram, 2006-07-20

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