Tuesday, September 18, 2012
For Social Companies, a Battle to Own Photography. From @nytimes
Just take a look at Facebook’s news feed as Exhibit A. What was once speckled with words and a few, tiny images, is now the complete opposite. Photos are large consuming most of the white space of Facebook’s social feed. (Don’t forget about the billion dollar acquisition of Instagram, the social photo service.)
Exhibit B: Google’s acquisition of Nik Software, a company that makes tools for editing and sharing photos, including the highly popular Snapseed app for iOS, on mobile phones.
There’s no arguing that mobile is the driving force here. Billions of people now walk around with mobile phones in their pockets that are also mobile cameras. Naturally, these photos are going to be shared on social sites. And big social companies, including Google, Facebook and Twitter, all want to house those images.
In the past, it was Yahoo’s Flickr that offered a bustling community for photos on the Web. But Flickr has since been usurped by a number of competitors, but none have completely replaced it.
Now, there’s a diaspora of photo-driven sites, apps and social networks, all vying for the Web’s photos.
Facebook, with its hundreds of millions of users, is clearly trying to become the pre-eminent destination for people’s photos online. But, it is not a site designed for beautiful images, which is what contributed to Flickr’s popularity and created its community. Instead, Facebook is for social images: birthday parties, a hike with friends and the latest vacation. Posting artistic photos on Facebook would be like placing an art collection from the Museum of Modern Art in your local bar.
Facebook’s Instagram, now a teeming photo haven, doesn’t fill the Flickr void either. It’s designed for mobile devices, and more importantly for this challenge, there is no way to post groups of photos. (There are also the Instagram users who berate people for using a digital cameras, rather than smartphones, on the service.) Twitter, which also only allows people to post single photos, doesn’t make sense, either.
Now Google wants to be that place, too. Its latest social tablet applications also highlight large images. In regards to the company’s acquisition on Monday, Vic Gundotra, senior vice president at Google in charge of Google Plus, wrote on Google Plus, “We want to help our users create photos they absolutely love.”
Don’t count Flickr as down-and-out just yet. Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s chief executive, is putting resources behind the almost-abandoned Flickr.
Because all of these companies know the same thing: This isn’t just a battle for the mobile Internet. It’s a battle for photos on the entire Internet.
Original article here....http://wtr.mn/SxZWQT