Recent studies show that over 42 billion photographs will be printed worldwide this next year. That may sound like a lot. Yet in 2008, over 63 billion were printed nearly a third fewer in less than five years.
Yet at the same time, over 124 billion photographs are expected to be shared on social networking sites, with Facebook being one of the largest.
The progression is natural of course. You have a camera/phone, you shoot an image, you store it in the most convenient way possible, which is usually with a push of a button to upload to your account. Facebook makes organization a snap; simply create an album and load as many images as you like. Want to build separate albums? Not a problem, label them in a way that makes sense to you and your viewers. Tag them so your viewers can share in the fun. Why not? Theyll be there forever, right?
Well, that might not be the case. There are actually two flaws in this line of thinking.
First, when you upload an image to Facebook, they simply dont have the capacity to store the worlds photos without making them a convenient size. Through an automatic process, Facebook downsizes your images so they fit within the constraints of the system. Which means your images look great on your computer screen, but if you try and print, even a 4×6 image size will be fuzzy. In one test, an image sized at 4600 pixels on the long side and 6MB came back as 720 pixels and 39KB. A huge difference. So if you are the type that shares to Facebook and hits the delete button, youve in affect lost the original image for good.
Second, using Facebook as your storage system assumes Facebook will always be around in the same format it is today, giving you the same benefits you have today. If youve been on Facebook more than a few weeks, you know they change all the time. The old Facebook Profiles, which has been around since the beginning, is now morphing into Facebook Timeline. They’ve added tools and taken others away. They refocus all the time. Will they really be around to share your wedding images on your 25th wedding anniversary?
This may be the generation of lost images. While we will eventually find new ways of viewing and sharing our photographs, right now were living in the wild west.
Are you really going to trust your wedding memories to something as insecure as social media?