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Social Media Sites Photo Metadata Test Results 2019

IPTC promotes the proper use of IPTC Photo Metadata and claims “embedded metadata should not be removed” from images shared on a photo platform or a system for sharing files or messages with images. To check which systems support this claim, IPTC checks about a dozen sites regularly: in 2013, in 2016 and now again in Spring 2019. Below we explain how we’ve tested and show the test results.

Test Procedure

Systems have been tested by members of the IPTC Photo Metadata Working Group, all applied the same procedure:

  • Uploading an image with values in many fields of the IPTC Photo Metadata Standard, e.g. the latest Reference Image File. This implies that all embedded metadata values are known and can be checked.
  • Checking how this uploaded image is presented to a viewer of this site or system:
    • Are any embedded metadata values displayed?
    • If displayed: is the shown value of a field the same as the embedded value, are the values displayed correctly?
    • If displayed: are these 4 relevant fields shown, correctly: Caption/description, Creator, Copyright Notice, Credit Line (= the 4Cs)
  • Check if the image can be saved to a local device by a Save As function of the web browser.
    If yes: test the saved image file: are the embedded Exif and IPTC metadata (in the formats IIM and XMP) of the uploaded image still embedded?
  • Check if the image can be downloaded by a function of the tested system (e.g. a menu item).
    If yes: test the downloaded image file: are the embedded Exif and IPTC metadata (in the formats IIM and XMP) of the uploaded image still embedded?

Test Results

The first column shows the name and a link of the tested system.

The Summary column shows a short free-text summary of the results.

The other columns show results using icons:

  • By the colour of dots: green = result is ok; yellow = result is almost ok, red: result is not ok
  • By a label below a dot: IPTC = IPTC metadata in general, IPTC IIM = IPTC metadata using the IIM format, IPTC XMP = IPTC metadata using the XMP format, Exif = Exif metadata. Grey = No embedded Exif or IPTC metadata value was displayed or  file cannot be SavedAs or downloaded.

Sites and systems focusing on sharing images

Site/System Summary Dis-
plays

cor-
rectly?
Dis-
plays

4Cs?
Save As
embed-
ded?
Down-
load

embed-ded?
500px
web.500px.com
Displays a few IPTC fields – correctly. No SaveAs or download from 500px site, only via other supplier companies. Compared to 2016: 4Cs improved.

Behance
www.behance.net

Behance sets of focus on showing creative power to others – but not embedded metadata. Download is not a main feature, SaveAs files keep the embedded metadata. Compared to 2016: less features are available but no decline.
EyeEm
eyeem.com
No embedded metadata displayed. SavedAs file had no Exif metadata anymore. Compared to 2016: SaveAs has improved.
Flickr
flickr.com
(Free account tested.) Some embedded metadata displayed. Embedded Creator replaced by account owner. SavedAs files have no XMP metadata. Original file can be downloaded. Compared to 2016: SaveAs has improved.
fotocommunity.de No embedded metadata displayed, shows only a minimal set of metadata fields of its own: tags and license. Original file can be downloaded. (Not tested in 2016)
Google Photo
photos.google.com
(Uploaded images only publicly visible in a shared album.) Some embedded metadata displayed. SavedAs image has no IPTC IIM metadata. Original file can be downloaded. Compared to 2016: a few details improved, a few details declined.
ImageSnippets
imagesnippets.com
Some metadata fields are displayed after a click on the image. SaveAs saves the original file. (Not tested in 2016)
Instagram
instagram.com
Only posting or uploading an image is supported, no SaveAs or download. No embedded metadata displayed. Compared to 2016: nothing changed.
Pexels
pexels.com
No embedded metadata displayed, shows only metadata fields of its own: Tags. Metadata is stripped off in SavedAs or downloaded files. (Not tested in 2016)
pixabay
pixabay.com
No embedded metadata displayed, shows only metadata fields of its own: Tags. Metadata is stripped off in SavedAs or downloaded files. (Not tested in 2016)
Unsplash
unsplash.com
No embedded metadata displayed, metadata is stripped off in SavedAs or downloaded files. (Not tested in 2016)

Systems focusing on sharing files or messages

System Summary Displays
correctly
Displays
4Cs?
SaveAs
embedded?
Download
embedded?
Dropbox Passed through original file, preview can be SavedAs with stripped off metadata. (Not tested in 2016)
Facebook No embedded metadata displayed. SavedAs files have no IIM metadata. Compared to 2016: SaveAs improved.
Google Drive Passed through original file, no SaveAs supported. (Not tested in 2016)
Microsoft OneDrive Passed through original file, preview can be SavedAs with stripped off metadata. (Not tested in 2016)
Twitter No embedded metadata displayed. Metadata is stripped off in SavedAs files. Compared to 2016: no change.