How Facebook is Changing Photography

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Facebook changes photo sharing and printing for ever:

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you know that digital pictures are quickly replacing printed photos. DSLR’s are still popular—and getting more popular and more sophisticated all the time—but the number of photos printed each year is much smaller than it was ten years ago, and continues to steadily decline.

Social media platforms like (and especially) Facebook have developed a new stage and storage space for candid photos of our friends and family and have all but erased the need for printed photos. We can easily upload photos to our profiles and share them instantly with a huge network of people, and even choose who can see them and who can’t.

With all the free storage online, why pay to have the same photos printed, especially when you can view and comment on friends’ photos without every physically seeing or holding them?

In an effort to stay relevant and competitive, Kodak is partnering with Facebook and offering 20 free prints of your Facebook photos if you Like their page—you’ll get a voucher which you can print and present at any participating photo developing center.

Kodak has made similar efforts over the past few years, and has done a pretty good job of remaining powerful in a market that has nearly forgotten photo prints. You can find Kiosks at various retailers that let you access Facebook and print photos directly from the site, without even carrying a flash drive or SD card to upload photos.

The real news here isn’t so much that Kodak is offering free prints, but that the entire concept of social photography is changing. It is comforting to know, for those of us that grew up with prints, that there is still room for printed photos in today’s world, but the field is quickly…ahem, developing…and it is exciting to see where social media takes other conventional forms of media sharing and distribution as it grows.

Lauren Bailey
  • An interesting ‘development’ indeed.

    Certainly print companies need to evolve their business models to remain competitive and afloat in this age where printing of photos is not only no longer a requirement but seen as unnecessary by many.

    My take on this was that whole tranches of family and social history could be lost as people rely more and more on social networking sites to host photos rather than print and keep them, even if that mean them being thrown in a box. In my view the more Kodak can do to encourage printing the better.

    If you’d like some further reading I recently wrote a blog of my own on this subject called ‘Are Social Networking Sites Killing The Photo Album?’ which can be read on my site at: http://ow.ly/7as8l .