The 90-9-1 Rule in the Creative Context


Studies of internet networks show an interesting pattern: only 1% of users publish the majority of the content. An additional 9% publish some content, with the rest publishing next to nothing at all.

This stat shocked me at first - but when I thought more about my Instagram feed, it all started making sense. (lol)

I build creative photo + video tools. As a creator, it's easy to forget that the majority of potential users will never publish content. Does this spell doom for creator-focused projects?

What I've found is that much more content is created than actually shared (over 100x).

Part of that can be attributed to missing optimizations in the sharing UX, as well as people posting without the hashtag, of course. Tweaks like these seem unlikely to account for an 100x difference, however.

It would seem that people actually are more creative on average than the 90-9-1 rule would suggest. It's just that creation is a fundamentally different process from publishing.

Part of a series: Lessons Learned at Scale