Social media is a massive force in today’s world – for good, bad, and everything in between. It has the power to force accountability through viral content where in days prior things may have been swept under the rug. It holds vast marketing potential for brands that can maneuver this digital world to gain a large following. It has the power to hold your attention for long spans as you soak in cat memes and presidential horror stories. And all of this is driven by imagery, both still and motion. Imagery that, today more than ever, is able to be created in an instant at most people’s fingertips.

Smartphone cameras have played a role in the demise of many aspects of photography as camera manufacturers have known it in decades past, but one research firm believes social media can also boost those slumped sales in the camera marketplace. Zion Market Research is predicting the global digital photography market growth to reach $110 billion by 2021, up from $77.66 billion recorded in 2015.

While Facebook users seem generally ok sharing smartphone content, Instagram, and Pinterest up the ante a bit, with higher quality imagery often receiving more attention. This could contribute to an increase in demand for “real” cameras.

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If manufacturers take note of these findings, expect to see social media friendly additions like more wifi and bluetooth enabled cameras to facilitate the transfer of photos to social media as seamlessly as possible.

Potentially on the down side, like many of the recent advances in digital photo producing technology, this looks to be more advantageous to consumers and manufacturers, leaving professionals clamoring around the niche markets that still need a trained human touch with the rest going the way of letting a camera do much of the thinking and contain most of the technical knowledge. Time to polish up those marketing skills and make sure potential clients know why they need YOU, pros!