Picture-taking has exploded since the introduction of digital cameras, and the popularity of smartphones has only accelerated this activity. Instead of taking pictures around life events, like birthdays, vacations, graduations, weddings and so on, today’s shutterbugs catalog both the meaningful and the mundane. An Instagram stream is as likely to have a picture of a birthday cake as it is the birthday boy or girl. Entire apps are built around photographing specific objects, like food.
This explosion in picture-taking has created an issue with managing photos. Dealing with the sheer volume of a weekend photo spree is a daunting task many consumers don’t want to embark on. Face it: Being a data clerk is a chore. That’s why using geo-location and other metadata can help with organizing and retrieving photos. Facial and scene recognition are also proving to be valuable organization tools that are easy and fun for consumers to use.
Thinking of the cloud as a shoebox is inaccurate. A shoebox is where old prints and negatives went to gather dust and be forgotten. Fortunately, today we have the interoperability of the cloud. Instead of service silos where pictures are stored in a gallery, to be shared by emailing a link, APIs allow the images themselves to be accessed from apps and from websites. This is opened up a whole new ecosystem for picture monetization. The cloud is more like a strip of color-negative film we all have access to, ready for products to be made.
The cloud computing is active and alive, accessible 24 hours a day from nearly any mobile device. Today, it’s far more convenient to make a photo gift from someone’s Facebook albums than from any print. This convenience will lead to more opportunities for revenue and profits.