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128-Year-Old Kodak Looks to the Future With Launch of Instagram Competitor


With its sights set on Facebook and Instagram, 128-year-old Kodak will roll out its new photo sharing and storytelling app, Kodak Moments, at SXSW.

Kodak Moments

Not to be confused with Twitter Moments or Facebook Moments, the new app, from Kodak Alaris, is hoping to parlay positive feelings about the brand and the "Kodak Moment" into a user base for the new app. Up to this point, the Kodak Moments platform has only been used to make prints of users' digital images.

The troubled company was famously a bit late to the party regarding innovations in digital photography -- the first digital camera was invented by a Kodak engineer in 1975, but the company clung to film and nothing ever came of it. In 2013, a restructured Kodak exited its Chapter 11 protection after filing in 2012, moving away from cameras and more towards mobile technology.

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With the ad-free Kodak Moments app, users can edit photos and share images and text with their followers within the app, or on other social-media platforms. Although Kodak Moments looks to be following in the footsteps of photo-sharing sites such as Facebook and Instagram, the company is banking on it to uphold its traditional business: selling prints, ordered directly through the app.

"We're not interested in showing you ads or selling your data ... we're not in that business," says David Newhoff, Kodak Alaris' vice president of Product Mobile Imaging -- Consumer.

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While the Kodak Moments platform was initially more geared toward young families, Newhoff believes that the app would appeal to anyone who is frustrated with the content they find on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Newhoff called SXSW a "perfect platform" for the app's debut, citing the successful launches of Twitter, Instagram (which is now owned by Facebook) and photo-sharing app Path, which was bought by Korean internet company Daum Kakao.

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Kodak may be positioning Moments as a different kind of service than Facebook or Instagram, but it's still leveraging those more established sites as a way to build up its app's user base from its already established customers. Right now, Kodak suggests people for you to follow, and you can invite people through your contacts, but soon there will be a way to send invites through Facebook.

You can get started on the app by pulling in photos from not only your photo roll on your phone, but Dropbox, Facebook and Instagram. Kodak Moments will be available in the U.S. first on iOS, with an Android version to come in late May to early June.

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