FutureFive New Zealand logo
Consumer technology news from the future
Story image

Opinion: Is social media destroying our photos?

By Contributor
Tue 16 Aug 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

My friend and I were getting ready for a night out on the town. Being millennials, it wasn’t enough for us to go out without taking a photo to document the moment. In proper photo-taking form, she whipped out her phone, clicked on the app and positioned her arm above her head, slightly askew, and took the photo. When I went to view the photo, I noticed that the picture was not in her Photos gallery. Instead, she had already shared the photo on her Snapchat My Story.  

Snapchat isn’t the first place most people think to take quality photos. For one, Snapchat pictures can appear grainy if the lighting is poor or the angle isn’t right. While the photo quality can be remedied with one of four of the filters on the app, Snapchat photos aren’t intended for posterity. In fact, the very nature of Snapchat is meant to be fleeting - a snap of a time that will disappear in a matter of seconds or hours.

But with popular photo sharing apps like Instagram and Snapchat, the relationship that we have with our photographs is no longer determined by the preservation of a moment - at least it’s no longer the primary function. These days, photo worth is determined by another sort of criteria: its sharing capability.

In order for a photo to be something worthy of sharing on a social media platform, it has to fit a certain model. Instagram pictures have to be captivating enough to catch the eye of a follower as they quickly scroll through a feed. Snapchat photos have to be straightforward, succinct, interesting. The addition of geofilters, stickers, and animated lenses has given users more options to decorate their Snapchat creations. Now a user can simply swipe on the filter to use a geofilter to show their location, they can record a video as a bee to their friends with the lens feature or place emojis in a picture with their best friend. With a photo sharing app, pictures are not just images, they are crafted and deliberate creations.

What’s more are the advances in aesthetic quality that has made the most recent smartphones comparable to the quality and look of some of the top cameras. According to data published by the Camera & Imaging Products Association, digital camera sales dropped 20% at the beginning of the year. Consumers are less inclined to purchase quality cameras when their own phones can manage the same look for less money and weigh less.

Traditional cameras just can’t do the work of a photo sharing app. You can’t add text to a picture of you and your friends hiking KiteKite falls on a traditional picture and send it in real time. Traditional cameras are limited, whereas smartphones and the apps they offer can give users a myriad of photo creating options.  

But there comes a price with the transiency that is expected of photos now. Photos are expected to live up to a certain amount of entertainment. And the cameras that take the photos need to compete with the expectations of the consumers. Snaps taken on cheaper phones may not be able to live up to the expectations of an Instagram post. Or maybe the pictures or video on a Snap video is mediocre and lags.

When consumers rely on social media to connect with friends or build their business, being able to manage an artful creation of their lives means that their phones have a lot of work to do. The growing surge of social media platforms means that consumers count on their photos. They are works of art to share with the world - one snap at a time.                               

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom puts electronics sector on notice over resale price maintenance
The Commerce Commission has concluded an investigation into allegations that television manufacturers were engaging in illegal resale price maintenance.
Story image
Review
Hands-on review: Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit A60
Philips’ range of Hue smart lighting promises to make any home a smart home. Techday’s Darren Price checks out the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit A60.
Story image
N4L
N4L, Spark, Chorus partner for Hyperfibre school upgrade
Networks for Learning (N4L) has partnered with Spark and Chorus to upgrade Wellington College to Hyperfibre, fostering stronger outcomes for students and teachers.
Story image
Electricity
Canstar finds Flick Electric NZ’s favourite provider
Canstar’s annual research to find New Zealand’s favourite electricity provider reveals Flick Electric has come out on top.
Story image
Wireless
ComCom finds NZ broadband compares well with Australia
A new report published by the Commerce Commission has found New Zealand's Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) compares well to Australia's National Broadband Network.
Story image
Cloud
Adobe Substance 3D updates, looks to the metaverse
A look at all of Adobe's major updates for Substance 3D and how its services are enabling businesses to get metaverse ready.
Story image
Cloud
Apple brings redesigned MacBook Air and updated MacBook Pro to market
Apple has introduced a redesigned MacBook Air and an updated 13-inch MacBook Pro, both powered by the new M2 chip.
Story image
Cloud
Chorus and Nokia launches first trial of 25G PON broadband
Chorus and Nokia have announced the successful demonstration of 25 gigabit per second fibre (Gbps) broadband technology at the Chorus Fibre Lab in Auckland. 
Story image
Cloud
Linktree Marketplace creates new commerce options for creators
Linktree has launched Linktree Marketplace, a new forum for users to discover all of Linktree's partners, Link Apps, and integrations in one place.
Story image
Cloud
TUANZ to address rural connectivity at 2022 symposium
TUANZ is hosting the Rural Connectivity Symposium for the first time in person since 2019, providing a forum to discuss the state of rural connectivity.
Story image
Gaming
AMD introduces FSR 2.0 giving gaming GPUs a boost
Not only have AMD proudly announced their new line-up of Radeon RX 6000-series graphics cards, but the company has also unveiled the first games to support its FSR 2.0 technology.
Story image
Cloud
Sony launches LinkBuds S - the latest model in the series
Sony says the LinkBuds S will give users a unique sound experience through sensor and spatial sound technology, even in AR games.
Story image
Cloud
Apple unveils M2 with 50% more memory bandwidth than M1
Compared to M1, M2 has an 18% faster CPU, a 35% more powerful GPU, a 40% faster Neural Engine, and delivers 50% more memory bandwidth and up to 24GB of fast unified memory.
Story image
Gaming
Game review: The Quarry (PC)
Supermassive Games channel 1980s teen horror movies with their latest suspense-filled cinematic adventure, The Quarry.
Story image
Cloud
Hisense launches in New Zealand with new product range
Consumer electronics and home entertainment brand Hisense has launched in New Zealand, bringing its range of TVs, refrigeration, and laundry products to Kiwi customers.
Story image
Cloud
Dynabook refreshes Portégé X30L series with the Portégé X30L-K
The new model contains hybrid-architecture Intel 12th Gen Core P-Series 28W processor options, Wi-Fi 6E, along with Intel Iris Xe graphics.
Story image
Privacy Commissioner
Aotearoa gets a new Privacy Commissioner: Michael Webster replaces John Edwards
Michael Webster, who is currently the Secretary of the Cabinet, will step into the Privacy Commissioner role on 5 July 2022.
Story image
Entelar
How TruSens air purifiers can create healthier workspaces
The pandemic has heightened our awareness of our own and others’ health, and made us all much more conscious of the environments we work in.
Story image
InternetNZ
Govt must step up to police social media - InternetNZ boss
A technology industry leader is urging the government not to shy away from policing social media platforms in New Zealand.
Story image
Cloud
Microsoft and Manaaki Whenua to map NZ's forest cover change
Microsoft and Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, are teaming up to develop improved detection of land use and forest cover change in New Zealand.
Story image
Gaming
Game preview: The Quarry (PC)
On playing a bit of The Quarry, I began to understand why the game has got its own release rather than just being part of The Dark Pictures Anthology.
Story image
Digital Transformation
SAP partners with New Zealand Rugby for digital transformation
The multi-year partnership will see SAP advance NZR with its organisational operations, team performance, fan experience and sustainability goals.
Story image
Cloud
Google announces new version of Chromecast with remote features
Google has announced its newest version of Chromecast, featuring a variety of new features and a new look.
Story image
Terramaster
TerraMaster launches its T6-423 Professional NAS with TOS 5 OS
Shenzhen-based data storage manufacturer, TerraMaster, has launched the T6-423 6-bay tower NAS.
Story image
Cloud
Sony expands X-Series portable speaker range with three new models
The company says the SRS-XG300, SRS-XE300 and SRS-XE200 all contain high-quality and powerful sound pressure due to X-Balanced Speaker Units.
Story image
Robotic Process Automation / RPA
Automated Guided Vehicles at seaports to grow 26% by 2027
ABI Research says the global use of Automated Guided Vehicles in seaports will exceed 150,000 deployments by 2027. Port authorities are also looking into 5G private networks.
Story image
Cloud
Apple announces new developer tools and APIs for better app experiences
The new announcement encompasses new tools, technologies and APIs that the company says are designed to help developers create better and more involved experiences for their users.
Story image
Cloud
Apple improves Mac operating system with latest offering
Apple has unveiled the latest version of its desktop operating system, macOS Ventura, providing users with tools for greater productivity.
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: HyperX Pulsefire Haste wireless mouse and HyperX Pulsefire XL Mat
With its lightweight Pulsefire Haste wireless mouse and RGB lit Pulsefire XL Mat, HyperX sets out to up your game and add a little colour to your desktop.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Adobe launches AI-powered updates to Photoshop and Lightroom
Adobe says the updates use Adobe Sensei AI and machine learning to simplify complex workflows and streamline cross-device collaboration.
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: JBL Quantum 610 Wireless
The new Quantum 610 gaming headset is the latest addition to JBL’s Quantum range and the successor to its popular Quantum 600 model.
Story image
Remote Working
Hands-on review: EcoFlow River Pro Portable Power station
We get hands-on with an extremely versatile device that every remote worker or outdoor enthusiast should consider.
Story image
Broadband
Mercury launches broadband and fibre packages for NZ customers
Mercury has officially launched Mercury Broadband, giving its electricity and gas customers the ability to add fibre to their existing Mercury account.
Story image
Cloud
Apple reveals new iOS 16 features set to enhance sharing and communication
Apple has unveiled an all-new Lock Screen experience and new ways to share and communicate in iOS 16.
Story image
Dark web
Cybercrime in Aotearoa: How does New Zealand law define it?
‘Cybercrime’ is a term we hear all the time, but what exactly is it, and how does New Zealand define it in legal terms?
Story image
Wireless
WolfVision releases new Cynap Pure Mini screen sharing solution
WolfVision has launched the WolfVision Cynap Pure Mini, a new wireless screen sharing solution that looks to enable easier and more effective presentations.
Story image
Gaming
Intel Arc A380 graphics units launched in China, global release imminent
New Intel Arc A380 graphics units are set to bring next-generation technologies to gamers and content creators in the coming months. 
Story image
Design
Hands-on review: Samsung S22 Ultra
I have been impressed by the functions Samsung packed into this phone. I did actually make one phone call on this phone, in between trying out as many of its other uses that I could pack in.
Story image
Apple
Apple’s watchOS 9 and its new features, including a medications app
The new watch0S 9 gives users more watch faces, an updated workout and sleep app and a brand new medications app.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Why is NZ lagging behind the world in cybersecurity?
A recent report by TUANZ has revealed that we are ranked 56th in the world when it comes to cybersecurity - a look into why we're so behind and what needs to be done.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Publicis Sapient and The Man Cave drive digital transformation for mental health
Publicis Sapient and The Man Cave are joining forces to help support the mental health and wellbeing of young men around the world.
Story image
Cloud
Microsoft NZ and TupuToa to boost diversity in cybersecurity sector
Microsoft NZ has teamed up with TupuToa to co-develop a cyber security employment programme specifically aimed at creating more diversity in Aotearoa's cybersecurity sector.
Story image
Review
Hands-on review: Morphée
Life in the twenty-first century has become a 24-hour affair. Morphée promises to help restore some balance to your life.
Story image
Skills shortage
Tech salaries increase as skills shortage inflates expectations
More technology professionals will receive a pay rise this coming financial year than last, with skills shortages creating a once-in-a-career market.