I can't remember the last time that I printed or developed any photos. Most of us have adopted uploading rather than printing but our picture frames, cork boards and wallets have suffered a great loss.
Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE: EK) announced Thursday that next week it will offer free printing of Facebook photos from October 17 through October 23. The Rochester, NY-based printing company is making efforts to remind the digital community the value of a picture in hand rather than a million on the hard drive.
"Kodak is dedicated to providing customers unique solutions to help create and share their memories," said Larry Trevarthen, vice president of worldwide marketing for Kodak's Retail Systems Solutions, in a statement. "There are billions of photos stored on Facebook and there is a strong desire to convert these photos into personalized memories. Through our free prints week, we are providing customers an easy and convenient solution to free their Facebook photos at no cost by visiting one of our exceptional retail partners."
The free prints are offered via coupon on the Kodak fan page, which has more than 173,000 Facebook users 'liking' it. Once you 'like' the page, you can print the coupon and take it to any of the retailers in your area to print up to 20 4x6" prints.
Kiosks are found nationally at companies such as CVS, Ritz Cameras, Albertsons and Lewis Drugs. Kodak offers a kiosks locator on its website. Each Kiosk will allow you to log into Facebook and print any pictures within your albums.
The company has also announced a partnership with the photoblogging site Tumblr to host a social photo contest called My Parents Were Awesome with the aim to get vintage pictures of their parents when they were young. Each of these efforts are a clear move to inject nostalgia back into the picture-snapping culture that often has little thought or care behind it.
The 131-year-old company, has held on for dear life as film photography has all but become extinct and digital printing has moved from the corner drugstore to the home computer station. Recently the company has had to quell rumors that it is filing for bankruptcy as its stock hovers in the single digits (today it opened at 1.28) and it slashed its global employees from more down to less than 20,000 in the last handful of years. Kodak has had to slim its ranks over the last two decades -- dropping their global presence over the years by more 100,000.
While this free encouragement to press 'print' rather than 'next pic' may remind people the value of a physical photo, a greater result from this promotion will be an undoubted swell in the number of Facebook users that will become members of Kodak's fan page and, thus, receive any number of updates and further offers directly from the printing company.
Rather than paying for advertisers to find young people, Facebook fan pages have become the new free platform to market directly to a captive audience and has proved useful for companies that want immediate feedback about product and services they are rolling out.
Now the challenge rests with users that have to wade through hundreds, if not thousands of pictures, to pick out 20 that they would like to get prints of -- and then we have to go and buy frames and albums.