With the number of photo editing and sharing tools rising and cameras getting ubiquitous, humans take more photos than ever existed in total 150 years ago. And this is a fact one just can’t ignore: photography is more popular than ever and it’s not going anywhere.

1. Digital Breakthrough
As digital cameras become more and more affordable and smartphone cameras continue to evolve, the cost of taking up photography as a hobby is within everyone’s reach. As a result there are 300 million Facebook uploads every day and at least 26 Instagram uploads every second, so we see more pictures than we can digest. This really raises the bar for quality of photographs, since one needs to really stand out to break through the noise.

2. Universal Language
Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey says that in this day and age when everyone is a photographer, photography is the world's only common language. Unlike mathematics or music, which can also be considered universal languages, photography doesn’t require any effort to be appreciated and allows virtually anyone to express their creativity. So it is the only language in the world all people can speak, which they do all of the time

3. Social Media Attention
Who doesn’t want to get some extra likes on their Facebook page? Well, 70% of activity on Facebook is based solely on photographs, which generate 53% more likes and 84% more click-throughs. No wonder 71% of online marketers confess to using visual assets in their social media campaigns.

4. Artistic Expression
This one is kind of a no-brainer, but photography is a great creative outlet. Whether you choose to take your own photos, or act as a curator scrolling through a plethora of images on multiple photography apps and websites — you still get a great tool for artistic expression. With photo editing tools growing in number and quality, creating something has never been easier.

5. The Rise of Independent Travel
When photography meets travel, magic starts to happen. With independent travel gaining its momentum, people don’t wait for stuff to happen anymore. Instead they go places and document everything that happens in the most creative ways possible. Some countries report 20% increase in interest in photography expedition. So prepare to see more landscape shots on your newsfeeds.

6. It’s all in your hands — The Power of Selfies
Love them or hate them, selfies are a huge cultural trend — and they’d been around long before smartphones became a thing. What is considered to be the first self-portrait photograph was taken by Robert Cornelius back in 1839. Scientists say that behind the selfie phenomenon is people’s natural desire to control the image projected, haters blame the narcissist age we live in, but what we know for sure is that nearly 300 million Instagram photos were tagged with the selfie label in April 2016. And since pictures with human faces are more likely to receive likes and comments, brands exploit the power of selfies in different ways — from encouraging users to generate empowering content to creating selfie apps.

So it’s an exciting time for photography. We’re sure to see more disruptive trends in the years to come, that people and companies will have to adapt to.

Photo by incredible #AlterView photographer Andrew Semark