I was doing some research on earphones and found a pair I liked on a site. I started copying the URL, then paused, wondering whether to add a new note in Keep, save the page to Pocket, bookmark the page in Chrome, or worry about the tab disappearing eventually from my Recents.
I ended up taking a screenshot, because it was frankly the easiest way to not forget it.
Opening my “photo” gallery, I realised it had become more than a collection of photos I’d taken aesthetic or emotional purposes. There are many that were sent through messaging apps related to conversations that I probably wouldn’t have taken myself otherwise. Let’s not forget the hours of video I’ve shared on Snapchat that really believes in the moment, disappearing instantly. Venues or books or posters that fall into the remember-this category. And of course screenshots. Whether it’s referencing an Instagram photo (because who actually tries to find a “URL” and share that?) or song I’m listening to (can’t share it from Rdio to friends who use Play Music or Spotify anyway), or now, as a note-taking mechanism.
It says something about how hard it is to actually share things these days, across a myriad of apps. You have to worry about the compatibility of what you’re sharing if it’s done through the service itself. Sometimes, a screenshot is easier.
Maybe one day an OS-wide service will recognise each image and serve up relevant actions like opening the original one in Instagram or playing that album in a music service you have running.
And then Benedict Evans sums it up: