More Than Half of U.S. Adults Feel Less Connected with Their Closest Friends and Family Than They Did Five Years Ago, Reveals Western Digital Commissioned Survey

Company’s new ibi Smart Photo Manager Enables People to Share the Photos and Videos that Matter Most with the People Who Matter Most, Strengthening Their Personal Relationships

SAN JOSE, CA - March 20, 2019

According to a survey conducted by Wakefield Research, commissioned by Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC)*, more than half of Americans (54 percent) feel less of a deep connection with their inner circle than they did five years ago, specifically because they don't find meaningful ways to stay in touch. At the same time, 85 percent of respondents who share photos with their inner circles cite "strengthening personal relationships with friends and family" as one of their major drivers. This data suggests that privately sharing photos and videos with friends and family may help to deepen the connections that many people believe have weakened over the years, despite the proliferation of social media and smartphones. ibi™, the new smart photo manager, lets people collect, organize and privately share photos and videos with the people who matter most to them.

The survey shows that while Americans who use social media have an average of 557 "friends" across platforms, there is a perceived absence of authenticity on social media. This helps explain why many respondents feel like they lack meaningful ways keep in touch with their loved ones. When questioned, a staggering 77 percent agreed that most of the people in their social networks exaggerate their lives online. Further, more than two in five Americans surveyed (44 percent) reported that a member of their inner circle posted a photo of them online that they did not want to be seen publicly.

"As social media remains a prominent feature of everyday life, our online networks are continuing to grow. However, social media does not necessarily make us feel more connected and can even ironically make us feel more alienated and lonely. People are now craving more personally fulfilling ways to bond with their inner circles of family and close friends. In fact, psychological research has shown that it is these inner circles of family and close friends that can make life feel meaningful," said Clay Routledge, professor and psychological scientist. "Many consumers are on social media because they long for connection but what they are really looking for and could most benefit from is a tool that allows them to easily share and revisit their most cherished life experiences exclusively with their inner circles."

"As a mom, I love capturing every precious moment from my daughter's childhood," said Brandi Milloy, food and lifestyle expert. "While I love to document my family's lives on my social channels, there are special moments that are best shared with my inner circle of friends and family who will fully appreciate every moment, from those first steps to first bike rides and everything in between. With ibi, I have a private space that lets me collect, find and share photos and videos with only the people I want, and no one else."

  • To reminisce on shared moments, both past and present (63 percent)

  • To maintain bonds, such as to overcome distance by sharing events and experiences (51 percent)

  • To reflect on personal growth, such as changes or progress we've made over time (36 percent)

  • To keep family history or heritage alive (36 percent)

"While there are lots of ways to preserve and share photos and videos, consumers are still looking for an easy, reliable solution that puts them in full control of their content," said David Ellis, vice president of product marketing, Western Digital. "ibi removes almost all the variables. It's a physical device that's located in their homes. With no monthly fees or contracts, consumers can rest easy that they've got full access to the content that matters most."

ibi, the smart photo manager, brings your photos, videos and favorite people together. Key product features include:

  • Automatically collect all of your favorite photos and videos from your phone, computer, USB drives and popular cloud and social media accounts1

  • Find exactly what you're looking for quickly using the simple-to-use mobile app

  • Privately share individual photos and invite others to add photos to shared albums from vacations, weddings, and more – all from your mobile phone

  • Invite your closest friends and family to a private space called the Inner Circle where you can all post photos and videos for each other to see

  • Simple setup — plug in your ibi smart photo manager, download the mobile app and let ibi do the rest

  • Stream videos to TV via Google Chromecast or Roku® devices

  • 2 terabytes (TB)2 of space (capable of storing 500,000 photos** or 200 hours of video***)

ibi, as part of the SanDisk® family of products, is now available in the U.S. on and for $179.99 USD. For more information about ibi, visit the website, or follow and

About Western Digital®

Western Digital® creates environments for data to thrive. The company is driving the innovation needed to help customers capture, preserve, access and transform an ever-increasing diversity of data. Everywhere data lives, from advanced data centers to mobile sensors to personal devices, our industry-leading solutions deliver the possibilities of data.

Western Digital® data-centric solutions are comprised of the Western Digital, G-Technology™, SanDisk®, Upthere™ and WD® brands.

© 2019 Western Digital Corporation or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
Western Digital, the Western Digital logo, SanDisk, the SanDisk logo, ibi and the ibi logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Western Digital Corporation or its affiliates in the U.S. and/or other countries. Roku is a trademark and/or registered trademark of Roku, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Google Chromecast is a trademark of Google LLC. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. Product specifications subject to change without notice. Pictures shown may vary from actual products. Not all products are available in all regions of the world.

*The survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 U.S. adults, ages 18+, between Feb. 28 and March 6, 2019, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas has been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent.

1Social Media or Cloud account registration may be required. Social Media and Cloud services may be changed, terminated or interrupted at any time and may vary by country.

2TB = 1,000,000,000,000 bytes. Actual user capacity less.

**Based on a 13.75 MP, JPEG image with an average file size of 3.5MB. Examples of the number of photos that can be stored are provided for illustrative purposes only. Your results will vary based on resolution, content, file compression, file format, file size, host device, pre-loaded files, settings, software and other factors

***The number of hours for videos is based on the 1920*1080 Full HD @ 30fps, 145MB/min, DV format. Examples of the hours of video that can be stored are provided for illustrative purposes only. Your results will vary based on bit rate, content, file compression, file format, file size, host device, pre-loaded files, resolution, settings, software and other factors.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains certain forward-looking statements, including the expected availability, benefits, capabilities, capacity, performance and/or other features of the ibi smart photo manager. There are a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause these forward-looking statements to be inaccurate including, among others: changes to specifications from standards organizations, volatility in global economic conditions; business conditions and growth in the storage ecosystem; impact of competitive products and pricing; market acceptance and cost of commodity materials and specialized product components; actions by competitors; unexpected advances in competing technologies; our development and introduction of products based on new technologies and expansion into new data storage markets; risks associated with acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures; difficulties or delays in manufacturing; and other risks and uncertainties listed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), including the company's most recently filed periodic report, to which your attention is directed. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, and the company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

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