This is not a new topic but we continue encountering sites like FFFFound and Vi.sualize.us in natural search results and elsewhere on an increasingly regular basis. This draws the conclusion that image bookmarking is gaining traction in a much broader web audience through a handful of platforms.
Web users across the board love image searching and meme nonsense. We enjoy browsing bookmarking sites for new content, digging through sites like buzzfeed, delicio.us, stumbleupon and “liking” things on Facebook etc… Our options for “collecting” our interests on the web are finally easy and diverse. Image bookmarking allows you to keep a collection without downloading a bunch of miscellany to a locally hosted junkdrawer, IE your desktop. Pretty simple. Pretty handy.
There are a handful of video bookmarking sites (in various stages of functional: myvidster, yuxt, kazivu, simfany, etc…) and browser plugins as well but what surprises me is that content bookmarking isn’t simply a feature of a broader property like Flickr. It’s easy to bookmark “faves” from other people’s streams. Why hasn’t Flickr capitalized on this functionality as part of their product; Bookmarking externally hosted images and videos? A lot of images on FFFFound are already hosted on Flickr.
The biggest hurdle to offering this service must be policing content. As I looked around at various lesser-known image bookmarking sites I found some images I wasn’t expecting to encounter. Pretty bold stuff. Seems obvious now but I went in a little naive considering the volume of “adult” or illicit content that is out there.
It’s got to be difficult to manage users’ expectations and sensibilities in this arena. A bookmarking property has to know who they want their audience to be and then who their audience actually is once it’s there. Again, Flickr has that pretty well managed by allowing the community rate the content but I’d imagine that some of the more fringe bookmarking sites will have to accommodate niche audiences since bookmarking is ultimately sharing, public or private.
We look forward to seeing how this bookmarking behavior evolves and which channels will iron out the wrinkles.
(fun fact: There’s no Wikipedia entry yet for “image bookmarking“?)