Kodak tries its hand at social with new “Kodak Moments” storytelling app

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The saying “Kodak Moment” is a holdover from another era where camera owners had to be thoughtful about which snapshots deserved to be taken, due to the limitations involved with running out of film. Today, the phrase has lost its meaning as mobile users take photos of everything, then curate after the fact using social media services like Facebook or Instagram. Today, Kodak Alaris is trying to breathe new life into the old saying, by launching a new, social app called “Kodak Moments” meant to encourage users to share important moments using photos, layouts and text.

The app’s goal is not to serve as some big dumping ground for your photos, but rather a place where you slow down to think about what should be shared. As the company describes it in its announcement, Kodak Moments is meant to offer a reprieve from the “seemingly endless number of selfies, meaningless hashtags, and sponsored posts that saturate social networks today.”

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That sounds good in theory, but Moments misses the mark on the user experience.

If you’re going to slow down and thoughtfully share select individual photos, as you do in the app, then there needs to be more than just the option to pick a photo and add a caption or some text. Even though each post is focused on telling the story around a single photo (or “moment”) there’s a surprising lack of image editing tools provided. You can crop a photo, but not rotate it, correct it or filter it. You can write text, but not make choices about font type, size or color – only choose to use a block quote or not.

And even though our smartphones’ Camera Rolls now contain a number of quality photos that can be laid out in collages or combined into short clips or videos, this app doesn’t think about telling the story of a “moment” in anything but the most traditional way – a single, meaningful image.

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The app also supports baseline social features like following users, liking and comments, but doesn’t really push the bar in terms of re-imagining the term “Kodak Moment” for the modern era.

In addition, a good portion of the app is devoted to Kodak’s old-school print business. In the “Shop” section, you can order gifts, prints, collages, photo books, and cards which can be printed and picked up in-store, or sent to your home. You can also use the app with Kodak kiosks at a number of retail locations around the U.S.

For those who still print photos on occasion, the app could be useful as it’s definitely an upgrade from the Kodak Kiosk Connect App, which is dated and ugly.

The Kodak Moments app is a free download on the Apple App Store.