M:Metrics has found that the way people use their mobile phones for images and photos is in stark contrast to the market just a few years ago.

Graphic publishers have been hit so hard by the fashion of camera phones that more people are using their own images for wallpapers and graphics than downloading and paying for content.

M:Metrics research found that 20% of Europeans, and 14% of Americans now pay for data services and photo messaging services. Over 30% of users send photos to other phones, email addresses or blogs.

While multi-media messaging has not been as successful as operators might have hoped, increasing popularity of social networking sites such as FaceBook and Flickr is boosting the numbers of people sending photos.

To tackle the problem, mobile phone operators are starting to offer affordable flat-rate data rates, while handset manufacturers are increasingly embedding support for websites.

The company behind the research predict there will be an explosion to photos being shared over the next 3 years. Which would support our news yesterday on the failure of Web 2.0.