Sorry Photo Startups, You're Pretty But Unprofitable


Photo: Aviary

Photo sharing is fun and sticky but it’s hard to monetise. Instagram and Pinterest are two of the most raved about startups, but neither of them make a dime.Aviary, a photo editor in the cloud, thinks it has a solution.

Today Aviary is launching version 2 of its editor.  Along with other improvements like instant retouching, Aviary is offering a way for developers to monetise their images with a new virtual goods layer.

Developers using the API can add in-app purchasing and encourage users to buy things like stickers or effects to personalise the images.

“We’ll be looking to monetise by offering premium content on top of photos, and allowing our partners to turn on/off that option within the Mobile SDK,” Aviary writes on its corporate blog. 

“For instance, if a partner decides they want to enable in-app purchasing via our SDK, they can start selling content without managing, supplying, or supporting anything. We take care of all the work, and do a standard rev share with the participating partner.”

While virtual goods won’t be the only monetary fix for photo startups, it’s at least one good attempt to help them start generating revenue via mobile apps.

“We are excited about the potential with virtual goods/premium content on top of photos. At scale we think it can be as big, if not bigger, than virtual goods in games,” says Aviary’s Lead Business Development, Alex Taub.

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