There's recently been a pretty cool development that will give online social media profiles a power boost. A UK brand experience agency have brought harmony to our complex worlds of digital photography, online social media and physical life. A holy trinity of the modern photography age if you will. They have designed and manufactured the UK's first home grown hashtag printer called the #HASHTAG Mini. What comes to mind when you hear the words 'Hashtag printer'? Well for one, it's not a printer designed specifically to print images of hashtags. That would be highly impractical and slightly insane. To explain it simply, you snap a photo on your mobile device, then you share it on social media with a chosen unique hashtag, then you print your photograph through the hashtag printer kiosk.
How awesome are photos? The answer is 'very'. Without them, you would be left with an unclear mental image that fades over time. Something that you can never get back. A bit like dodos, but less birdlike. Photographs have always helped to capture those special life moments; like how excited you were for your first trip to Disneyland, flinging your hat in the air at graduation or kissing the accounts manager at the work Christmas party. Although your colleagues are more than likely to remind you of the last one, even without photographic proof.
Developing photos had always been quite the task until in 1972 Dr Edwin Land first introduced the portable polaroid camera to the world. Polaroids were a groundbreaking invention that gave full control of the photographical process to whoever snapped a photo. Artistic creativity skyrocketed. Development was instant, exciting and people loved the feel of a physical printout they could hold. Eventually digital photography took over and nowadays photos are mostly viewed on screens and archived in digital folders.
Last year an estimated 1 trillion digital photos were taken and almost 80% of them were on mobile devices. Instagram and twitter make up a combined total of nearly 700 million active users. Each day over 70 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram; and over 58 million tweets are shared across the globe. That's close to 2 thousand social shares a second. If sharing is caring, then society sure as hell cares. We are creating digital content at an unprecedented level; but so often these fond memories end up never to be seen again far down a social media feed or even worse, deep in the dark rotting recesses of internal phone memory. The physical world is a place that can give more meaning and lasting value to printed photos that would have otherwise been lost forever. A place where images of memories can be displayed on the fridge, a pin-board, in a wallet or in an album. A place that escapes the digital world we all seem to be forever trapped in.
Enter the #HASHTAG Mini. A kiosk designed to seamlessly bring together the digital, social and Physical.
Hashtag printing is the greatest new marketing tool you've never heard of, but makes so much sense now that you have.