Content creation online is exploding, with over 53 million people (or 44% of all Internet users) having created and posted content online in 2004 – according to a Pew Internet Study.  While the entire category of content creation sometimes seems hijacked by blogging and podcasting, another content creation activity is noted by this same report to be more than ten times as popular as blogging … posting photographs online.  It was the most popular online content creation activity in 2004 with 21% of all Internet users having done it.  And it shows no signs of slowing down with the rise of digital photography

In the corporate world HP acquired Snapfish, Google bought Picasa, Kodak has Ofoto and Sony has Imagestation … so it seems the big guys are dedicated to growing online photo services as a channel for engaging customers in an ongoing relationship online.  It points to an interesting opportunity for retailers to create that coveted relationship with their customers post-purchase through online photo albums, or even through customized blogging.  Offering a site for users to create posts on experiences online, add photos, and invite contributions from others would be an interesting way to invite customers to serve as intentional (or unintentional) brand ambassadors. 

Nike could offer Golf blogs with photo albums to record and share photos and scores. (a current client) could enable their customers to share travel experiences and photos.  The Hard Rock Cafe could allows visitors create albums with photos visiting multiple locations across the globe. 

Online Photo Gallery Sites and Corporate Sponsors:

Anyone know of other companies that are using online photo galleries as a way to engage and build a relationship with their customers?