This shift has been supported by the changes in underlying technology and the advent of "frictionless" sharing of photos and video via social network platforms. In the context of photography, "frictionless sharing" means minimising the number of steps between taking a photo and sharing it via a social network platform.
But in terms of technology, the real shift came when camera phones (in particular) reached a certain quality.
Many of the cameras found on today's phones are at least five Megapixels. For people making a decision between using their phone and bringing along a dedicated point-and-click camera, this five Megapixel resolution probably represents the tipping point in favour of the phone.
But as we have seen with the data from Flickr, the move to the camera phone is still gathering momentum and other digital cameras are still popular.
Frictionless photo sharing
The real accelerator for frictionless sharing of photos has been the ability to instantly upload photographs to social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and to blog software such as Posterous and Tumblr. The iPhone, in particular, has popularised specialised photo sharing apps such as Instagram and Hipstamatic.
Sharing a photo in this way is more about communication and less about remembering. The photo usually has some commentary ("Miserable in New York today.") and is "liked" and commented on by friends and others with whom it is shared.
Another important part of photography's shift from memory tool to communication medium is that the photos are purposely temporary. The sheer volume of photographs taken and uploaded by individuals limits the shelf-life of these photos.
Of course this may change with features such as Facebook's timeline, which attempts to make it much easier to access photos for the purpose of remembering.
(It's worth noting that in 2011, approximately 70 billion photographs were uploaded to Facebook, with some estimates putting that figure closer to 100 billion photographs. Either way, Facebook is the largest photo sharing site by a considerable margin.)
It is hard to see a role for Kodak in all of this. Even with a company restructure, they would still be competing with companies such as Nikon and Canon; companies which are much stronger in the hardware and technology markets.
The real value in photography today is the software and platforms used for sharing and distribution. Kodak would need to pull off a miracle to become a major player in this space.
In all likelihood, Kodak's moment might have passed.
This article was originally published at The Conversation.
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