The three most serious things in life start with a capital P: Politics. Parenthood. Photography. We photographers are a serious bunch of people and take great pride in knowing exactly what we know, what others don’t and what we’re after. So time to loosen up a bit. Photography and satire are an oxymoron. Nevertheless, we give it a go:
Facebook’s New Service “Facemail” Revolutionizes the Way We Use Images
MENLO PARK, CA — With millions of images uploaded each day, a new online service by social media giant Facebook allows users quick, convenient and free access to all pictures ever taken. Facebook is confident to become the world’s premier quality photo distribution agency.
But Facebook takes even greater pride in a brand new feature called “Facemail”: Facebook will launch a dedicated service offering custom-tailored, mailed selections of images without you ever having to worry about late fees.
“The sky’s the limit”, an exuberant Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told friends and VIP guests at a launch party in Palo Alto, where he lives. “It’s an indescribable feeling to hold a real print in your hands. And there’s no genre we don’t offer, be it Native-American pilots or the planet’s largest selection of tree bark textures. We’re attacking the market leaders head-on”, said Zuckerberg. “In a few years everyone will wonder why we ever had to pay for Getty Images or Magnum Photos. Soon, our servers will store and offer every image ever made. For free.”
Facebook’s new market offensive is counting on newly released behavioral market data. An independent study concluded that every single human being is now pretty good at photography. “It’s all about quantity,” according to Zuckerberg. “The value of images depreciates quickly. In the end there’s only us left. And we give you unlimited access.”
A user of the free new Facebook imaging service is able to download a selection of images that’s previously unheard of. The service offers the widest array of photos and genres, including pictures of sunsets from all angles, dogs wearing funny hats or the complete works of all forgotten photographers who not only rise to fame posthumously, their millions and millions of photos convey the message that “Anyone can do it”, said a triumphant Zuckerberg.
To not be belittled as a third-class service with horrible compression that makes pictures look horrible, the new Facebook imaging service offers grisly crime scene photos, the latest news coverage, the complete work of Ansel Adams, snapshots of Maggie and her parrot, images of friends sitting around picnic tables and recent portraits from Tanya Kohler’s baby shower at the Treehouse restaurant in Manchester, NH.
But Zuckerberg’s real pride is Facemail: As an additional service available for a fee, Facemail will mail a selection of the finest images by post. Excited early beta tester Jonathan Collins told the excited crowd ad the Zuckerberg mansion, “It’s so convenient. You get so many photos you’d never thought you could handle directly in your mailbox. Why go to the movies, why see friends! I can look at these images for hours and then drop it in the prepaid envelope and send it back,” said the Houston resident. “I never thought a printed image can look and feel so good. And if I really like an image, I sleep with it. It’s Instagram revolutionized, really. I’ll never look at pictures the same way again.”
Immediately after signing up for Facemail, a service that provides unique, film-like nostalgia, users can begin adding images they wish to look at to their rental queue. Users will receive an email notification indicating when photos have been shipped from a nearby distribution facility. They arrive by mailman within three business days.
“Our Facemail members can keep all the photographs for as long as they want, without ever having to worry about late fees,” said Zuckerberg, adding that relying on Facemail is much more rewarding than trying to select images from your computer screen. “Our sophisticated random selection process finds something for everyone. Whether you like extreme close-ups of flowers or candid shots of some high society kid passed out on the couch, it’s all here.”
According to Zuckerberg, the new service provides personalized recommendations by using an algorithm that analyzes each and every user’s recent online activity and then makes suggestions based on a user’s stored habits and characteristics.
For instance, if a user enjoyed viewing the “Stoddard Family Trip To South Dakota,” the site might suggest he or she likes “The Ziegler Family Vacation To Six Flags,” or perhaps even “The Stoddard Family Cookout, 2006.”
“I really enjoy photos of maple trees, but then Facebook recommended that I look at a picture of a birch,” said Utah resident and beta tester Sheila Cox. “I couldn’t believe I’d been missing out on such a great tree all this time.”
In addition to the computer-generated recommendations, Facemail also features an online community that allows members to connect with other photo fans and discuss their praise and criticisms of recent images they have seen.
According to well-placed sources, however, a storm of protest engulfed after the algorithms sent out millions of photos showing how Eric Foster blew out candles on his birthday cake. A common complaint was that people have seen better burning candles. “I barely got halfway through that photo before deciding to mail it back,” one user complained.
Facebook is confident that the new free and paid services address an eagerly awaited market demand that hasn’t already been catered for. Accordingly, Facebook shares will finally skyrocket. Only cause for concern, a grave looking Zuckerberg conceded, was the economy. In these times of hardship people have to work long hours and they hardly find time at night to sit down and look at a picture together.
“Our services are all about togetherness,” said Zuckerberg. “A picture is like a chair.”
Still, an early prototype service is rumored to offer a “view instantly” feature to mailed images, giving customers with the necessary system requirements the ability to watch their paid-for, randomly selected, favorite photos online.
At a price.