Plotting Today’s Web Landscape with Points of Control, The Map

October 15, 2010 by Lisa Oshima | Advertising, Consulting, Developers, Mobile, Monetization, Review, Social Media

points_of_control_betaI recently stumbled across a visual map of the web 2.0 landscape, created by John Battelle and team, called Points of Control.  (Note: If you’re interested in social media and you’re not familiar with John Battelle, check him out… He’s the Program Chair of the Web 2.0 Summit, and his nearly 40,000 followers on Twitter -including me- are a good indication that he regularly has interesting things to say.)

The Points of Control map is a fun idea- particularly for arm-chair corporate development and business development types.  It’s the kind of thing that could suck hours of a social media and mobile geek’s free time.  The latest feature on the map is “acquisition mode,” which lets users suggest and rate the potential of web and mobile acquisitions.  So far the conversations are limited, but I can see it taking off as more companies are added to the map.

As I looked at the landscape, I noticed a few things that are missing… For starters, Photobucket (my current consulting client) should be on the map in:

  • Plains of Content
  • Land of Search
  • Cliffs of Media Access
  • Subcontinent of Advertising
  • Location Basin
  • Union of Social Networks

Here’s why:

Plains of Content and Land of Search

Photobucket is the largest independent photo sharing site on the web, with more than twice as many photos as Flickr and nearly 26,683,225 monthly unique visitors – that’s more than Flickr, Shutterfly, Kodak Gallery, and Snapfish (as seen in the chart from, below).


As far as I’m aware, it is the largest repository of clean, findable images on the web (outside of search engines), and it is one of the most significant single sources of images for search engines like Google and Bing.  Photobucket Corp has:

  • 100+ million total registered users
  • 26.5 million total uniques/mo, US*
  • 7.8 billion digital assets uploaded
  • 4.3 million images and videos uploaded daily
  • 3.2 billion images and videos served daily

Cliffs of Media Access and Union of Social Networks

Photobucket was once part of Fox Interactive Media (NewsCorp) (same company that owns MySpace, etc.), but it now an independent company (merging with Ontela in December 2009).  Photobucket Corp owns three media sites (as seen in the below graph):

  •, which as seen in the chart above has the most monthly visitors
  •, which, though not plotted on the above chart, has X monthly unique visitors – more than Shutterfly, Snapfish and
  • Twitgoo, which, is a media sharing service for Twitter, not unlike TwitPic and YFrog.  It was recently incorporated into the “New Twitter” (i.e. the re-vamped site)

photobucket-sites-Aug-2010 is more than just a massive image repository for clean, findable images and video, it also hosts and serves billions of images to millions of websites all over the web it is at the intersection of the “Union of Social Media”.  Photobucket enables users to keep their photos and videos in one place and easily syndicate that media content to their favorite social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace.  One of the most interesting piece of I.P. that Photobucket owns is a patented, zero-click uploader that allows users to automatically back up their photos from a mobile device to any site requiring authentication.  This brings me to mobile…

The Photobucket service is also available in the form of a mobile app for iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, and mobile internet. It is  pre-loaded and/or natively integrated with a variety of mobile phones including all phones with Motorola’s MOTOTBLUR service,  T-Mobile’s new G2 (2nd generation Android device), and many more devices.  Photobucket is integrated beyond just mobile phones and is include with many consumer electronics products including the Sony Dash, many of Sony’s TVs, Sony Cameras, many HP printers, and more.

Cliffs of Media Access and Subcontinent of Advertising

Photobucket generates revenue in two primary ways – advertising and subscriptions.  Users can sign up for a free account in exchange for seeing advertisements (typically branded campaigns from big advertisers) and get 500MB of media storage a month, or they can pay $24.95 a year (or $39.90 for two years) for a Photobucket Pro Subscription, which offers unlimited storage and bandwidth to users.  Photobucket has its own, dedicated as sales team, and its advertisers include major brands doing homepage and other branded advertising campaigns.

Aside from Photobucket, I propose two additional areas and corresponding companies be added to the map including:

  • Facial Detection and Recognition:  Apple (which recently acquired Polar Rose, (one of my former clients), Viewdle, etc.: Watch this space… It’s going to be huge.  For example… I think it’s really interesting that Facebook, for example doesn’t prohibit 3rd party developers like those above from identifying people and photos and storing maps of their faces so that those faces can be recognized on other sites/areas of the web.
  • Interactive, Connected TV: From GoogleTV to Samsung Apps, major players in the world of consumer electronics are making a play for an internect connected living room.  As I’ve said in a previous post, I think TV apps could just be the next big thing in convergence.

What do you think of the Points of Control Map, and what would you like to see added?

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