The Impact of Videos vs. Photos on Social Media Platforms

Concentrated young man taking photos on professional camera during work in modern studio

In the dynamic world of social media, where attention is the most coveted currency, the battle between videos and photos is a central theme. As content creators and marketers seek to optimise their strategies, the question of whether videos or photos garner more interaction becomes increasingly pertinent. Let’s delve into the nuanced realm of social media content and supplement our exploration with compelling statistics and facts to unravel the mystery behind user engagement.

The Power of Visual Content:

Visual content’s potency in capturing attention and conveying messages swiftly cannot be overstated. With an information-rich and fast-paced digital landscape, images and videos emerge as formidable tools for effective communication, catering to the preferences of diverse online audiences.

The Rise of Videos:

Videos have experienced an unprecedented surge in popularity across various social media platforms. Statistics from a survey conducted by Cisco predict that by 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic. This staggering figure emphasises the dominance and preference for video content in the digital space.

Social media giants like Facebook and Instagram have been quick to adapt to this trend, with video features taking centre stage. According to a report from Social Media Today, Facebook users watch an average of 100 million hours of video content every day. The platform’s algorithm is designed to prioritise video content, leading to increased visibility and engagement.

Short-form videos have also seen a meteoric rise, with TikTok emerging as a frontrunner in this genre. TikTok boasts over 2 billion downloads globally, highlighting the platform’s immense popularity and the global appetite for bite-sized video content.

The Allure of Photos:

While videos dominate, photos maintain their allure, particularly on visually-focused platforms like Instagram. According to Instagram’s internal data, as of 2021, the platform had over 1 billion monthly active users, with more than 500 million users engaging with Instagram Stories daily.

A crucial aspect contributing to the enduring popularity of photos is their simplicity and accessibility. Instagram’s emphasis on visual storytelling has created a thriving community of users who express themselves primarily through captivating imagery. The platform also reports that posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than those without.

Engagement Metrics: Likes, Comments, and Shares:

To gauge the effectiveness of videos and photos on social media, analysing key engagement metrics is essential. Videos often outperform in eliciting comments and shares due to their dynamic nature. According to a study by Socialbakers, videos on Facebook receive, on average, 135% more organic reach than photos. The study further suggests that videos generate more shares, making them a powerful tool for organic audience growth.

On the flip side, photos maintain their stronghold in securing likes. Instagram’s data reveals that photos receive, on average, 36% more likes than videos. The platform’s algorithm prioritises visual content, making the double-tap gesture a quick and accessible way for users to express their approval.

Algorithmic Considerations:

Social media algorithms play a pivotal role in shaping the visibility and reach of content. Videos often benefit from algorithmic preferences, as platforms like Instagram prioritise video content to enhance user experience. Autoplay features and video previews contribute to higher visibility, increasing the likelihood of user engagement.

On the contrary, photos may face challenges in gaining visibility due to algorithmic changes. Some platforms prioritise video content or posts from users with higher engagement rates, potentially reducing the organic reach of photo-centric content. A comprehensive understanding of platform-specific algorithms is crucial for content creators aiming to optimise their reach.

Audience Preferences:

Understanding the preferences of the target audience is paramount for crafting effective content. Younger audiences, for instance, often gravitate towards short-form videos with trendy, visually stimulating content. A survey conducted by Pew Research Center found that 69% of adults aged 18 to 29 use Instagram, indicating the platform’s popularity among younger demographics.

Conversely, niches such as photography, fashion, and travel may find photos more effective in conveying their messages. According to a study by Social Media Today, 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook are photos. This statistic underscores the enduring appeal of captivating visuals in certain niches.


In the perpetual tug-of-war between videos and photos on social media platforms, there is no definitive winner. Both formats possess unique strengths and cater to diverse audience preferences. The choice between videos and photos ultimately depends on the content creator’s objectives, target audience, and the nature of the message they aim to convey.

If you’re inclined towards harnessing the power of videos, our video production company, CMA Video, stands ready to bring your vision to life. With a proven track record of creating compelling and impactful videos, we offer a range of services tailored to meet your specific needs. Whether it’s a promotional video, tutorial, or storytelling piece, our team is equipped to deliver content that resonates with your audience. Get in touch with us today, and let CMA Video elevate your social media presence with visually stunning and engaging video content. Your success begins with a click – contact us now to embark on a visual journey that captivates and inspires.

Transform your vision into captivating content that resonates with your audience and drives results. At CMA Video, we specialise in crafting high-quality corporate videos that elevate brands of all sizes. Start the conversation today and let’s bring your brand to life through the power of video storytelling.