Another Nikon Miss

"Due to the declining number of users, we have decided to terminate the Map view service in NIKON IMAGE SPACE on May 20, 2024 (scheduled).” —Nikon email to NIS users

First off, that’s terrible wording. What PR department in the world would use that first clause? And is that users overall, or users of the feature? 

But more important is this: did you even know that Nikon has a free cloud-based image storage system? Do you have any idea what the features of that system are and why you might use it? 

My guess is no to both questions. When I ask around among Nikon users, about the best I get is “I’m aware it exists, but I don’t know why I’d use it.” Heck, if you type the name into Wikipedia you get "The page 'Nikon image space' does not exist.” That’s a pretty good indication that Nikon itself doesn’t know what the thing is for or how to start building out promotion of it, and that no user seems to think it important enough to create the page themselves.

Nikon Image Space (NIS) is part of the SnapBridge system, though apparently not managed or controlled by the same group. SnapBridge can pull images from your camera to the phone, then forward them on to NIS if you have everything configured properly. From there, you can share those images in multiple ways. Why sharing isn’t built into SnapBridge itself is another story for another day, and why Nikon Wireless Transfer Utility or even Nikon Tether can’t push images to NIS is yet another story for another day. Seems I have a lot of potential stories to write ;~).

The problem, of course, is a common one within Nikon: anything that doesn’t generate a lot of beans doesn’t get past the bean counters. Within development, it’s called resource starvation. Corporately, I’d call it lack of insight. 

There’s no doubt that the primary way images are viewed today is by sharing. As I outlined back in 2007 to 2010, that can be done in a variety of ways, from ftp to email to Web site to social media network and a host more options. If your device creates images and they need to be shared, exactly how do you help your customers do that? 

The camera companies today still seem to think that the sneaker net is all they need to provide. You used to take the film out of your camera, then with your sneakers on take it to a film lab for processing. Sneaker net. Today, you take the card out of your camera, then with your sneakers on take it into your den to the computer for ingest. Silly stupid relic. It’s as if camera designers don’t live in the present, let alone think what the future may be like. 

NIS is failing—and not for the first time—because Nikon doesn’t know what it’s for, doesn’t know how to market and sell it, and doesn’t spend the resources to make it do what it needs to. Today’s email illustrates pretty much all of those things, and that clause up front essentially says “we’re failing.” Thanks for the truth, Nikon, but that still doesn’t solve the user problem, does it?

Update: by the way, the real reason why the map function was removed is because Google changed their API and Nikon apparently hasn't gotten around to changing how to integrate with it. They're using "number of users" as a deflection for their own laziness in keeping their software up to date. But this isn't the first time this problem has arisen: when Musk took over Twitter and started making API changes/restrictions, the Twitter sharing component within NIS broke and no longer is there. Instead of keeping features working, Nikon's modus operandi is to remove them. Eventually the software becomes useless, and the software gets cancelled. What a way to run a software business, eh? 

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