SOURCE: Posterous


November 30, 2011 03:01 ET

Posterous Releases First Annual Report on State of Online Private Sharing

Private Online Sharing Set to Be the Battleground of the Future as Survey Finds Social Networking Users Seek More Control

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Nov 30, 2011) - Online sharing platform Posterous today announced the results of its First Annual State of Online Private Sharing Report which gives an in-depth view of how privacy concerns are impacting consumer sharing habits.

According to the results of the Harris Interactive Survey, social network users are sharing less online because they don't have the ability to control who sees what they share. And with nearly 7 in 10 believing that Facebook prefers everything they share to be public, it's evident that the private sharing race is still up for grabs.

"Since the launch of Posterous Spaces, we've already seen new user growth double, driven by private sharing activity, which is a clear statement from our users that the friends sharing model is broken and none of the incumbent social networks are meeting consumer needs to control who sees what they share," said Sachin Agarwal, founder and CEO of Posterous. "These findings mirror what our users have been telling us and as privacy options continue to confuse and elude, private online sharing is primed to be the battleground of the future for social networks."

Major findings include:

  • Private Sharing Control: Private online sharing options are falling short of consumer demand as 61 percent state they would share more online if they could better control who could see what they share. Confusion reigns with 68 percent of Facebook users claiming they don't understand Facebook's privacy controls.
  • Sharing with Friends: Sharing with online friends does not necessarily mean sharing privately. Social networking has redefined the meaning of "friends" with respondents stating that 45 percent of their "friends" are people they have never met. When asked to classify their relationship further, a minority were labeled as "close friends" with the majority described as distant and/or friends of friends.
  • Sharing Photos: Photos are a top concern for sharing privately online: 64 percent of consumers are uncomfortable sharing family photos with their social networking "friends."
  • Sharing via email: People don't trust the incumbent social networks to do their private sharing. As a result, email is the preferred choice of sharing privately among all age groups -- twice as many users rely on email vs. social networks to share photos privately. 1 in 5 share 100 percent of their photos via email due to privacy fears.
  • Women vs. Men: Contrary to social stereotypes, men share more openly online while women are more guarded and more concerned with privacy, with 26 percent of women stating they don't want any of their photos public vs. just 19 percent of men. Females 18-29 are the most concerned over privacy as photos shared privately represent 74 percent of their total photos shared, compared to 52 percent of men in the same age range.

About Posterous
Posterous enables smarter sharing online by giving people full control over who can see their posts via email, Web or mobile devices. Over 16 million people rely on Posterous Spaces to share with friends, family and colleagues every month; Posterous was founded in San Francisco in 2008 and is backed by Redpoint Ventures, Jafco Ventures and an all-star cast of successful angel investors and entrepreneurs.

About the survey
The Harris Interactive Survey was commissioned by Posterous in October 2011 and polled 2,014 U.S. social network users ages 18 and over.

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