Is the “Kodak moment” dead?

Kodak moment: a phrase that means a lot to one generation, and yet almost nothing to another. After all, how can Generation Z-er’s be expected to understand the importance of one photo when snapping selfies has become about as commonplace as breathing?

Instead of being limited to 27 pictures on a disposable camera, people now find themselves with the ability to take as many pictures as their smartphone memory can hold. Kids growing up in this digital age have lost the novelty of the limited printed image. They’re faced with an unlimited ability to snap and share their memories in real time. Because of this, images are no longer used only for memory keeping, but as a form of communication in itself. Why would you text a friend “OMG, I had the best brunch” when you could simply snap them a pic of your waffles lathered in syrup and coated in berries?

Like photography, the nature of social networks has also changed. Facebook has gone from a space you share pictures of a great night out hoping all your friends like it, to a space you share your night with the hope your relatives don’t embarrassingly comment on them. Facebook now has a median user age of 50, and it appears that Instagram is heading this way. This is why teens and twenty-somethings are now flocking to the likes of Snapchat as their social media of choice. A study by Sumpto shows that 77% of college students use Snapchat at least once a day.

If nothing else, brands hoping to connect with Millennials and Gen Z-ers should at least understand the basics of these new platforms. The basic idea of Snapchat is that you take a picture or a video and send it on to friends. Users have the ability to both draw on their own pictures or utilize Snapchat geo-tags only available in certain locations. They can then either post it on “My Story” where it lives for 24 hours or they can send directly to friends where the picture disappears after viewing it for x number of seconds (1 to 10 seconds). Because Snapchat content can’t be viewed again, users fully absorb content in that moment.

The biggest potential asset of Snapchat is its power users. Usually made famous by their “Snapsterpieces,” or intricate art created on top of snaps, brands have begun leveraging their followers to push their own brands, and it’s working. One power user, Shaun McBride, or @shonduras, has worked to advertise with the likes of Disney through Snapchat. He engaged his followers by showing them what his day at Disney looked like. He asked users where he should go around Disney and what their favorite places to go were. In an interview with Social Media Examiner, McBride (, explained that the draw of Snapsterpieces are that they take viewers away from their boring day to day lives. They make art out of everyday life.

So has the Kodak moment died? No, it’s just found a different name. Life’s becoming about experiencing the moment you’re in rather than only treasuring the moment when looking back. Rather than living for the Kodak moments, people are living for the Snapchat Story.


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