Starting today, you can create and share pics of the things you love with limited edition filters, frames and stickers in Aviary and select Aviary partner apps, free from I Heart UGG. Download the free tools in Aviary for iOS and Android, and share your creations with #IHEARTUGG for a chance to be featured on our social pages!

Official announcement below...

I Heart UGG Partners With Aviary To Launch New Tween Brand

New photo editing tools in Aviary provide bespoke filters, frames and stickers for capturing "what you <3"

NEW YORK CITY (July 28, 2014) — As part of its launch of I Heart UGG, a new premium tween brand featuring footwear, loungewear and accessories, UGG Australia is turning to mobile photo editor Aviary to bring a whimsical, personalized touch to millions of fan photos around the US. Starting today, users of the Aviary photo editing platform, which powers more than 7,000 different apps, will be able to embellish photos of the things they love with a limited edition collection of I Heart UGG filters, frames and stickers.

"We are thrilled to launch I Heart UGG, a new brand by UGG," said Nancy Mamann, VP of Global Marketing for UGG Australia. "UGG Australia partnering with Aviary is an exciting kickoff for the brand and we are excited to give fans such an innovative medium to express themselves. The effects of the app clearly mirror the aesthetic of the line: spirited, fresh and playful."

With a creative nod to the new I Heart UGG brand and product line, the custom filters, frames and stickers include an edgy black and white photo effect inspired by vintage concert photography, bohemian flower wreaths, word art, preppy hand-stitched frames and more. The partnership, part of Aviary's unique model for native advertising, enables UGG to engage with a younger female audience during one of their favorite mobile activities — taking and sharing photos.  

"Photography captures the things we love the most, from best friends to favorite outfits to perfect sunsets," said Carmel Hagen, director of branded content for Aviary. "Through this partnership with I Heart UGG, we've created a celebration of these 'things we <3,' giving girls everywhere the chance to give a positive shout out to the things that matter most."

Aviary's native ad model has generated tens of millions of photos incorporating branded filters and stickers from companies like Unilever, Samsung, Target and now UGG. By creating interactive experiences for photo app users to engage with brands as they go about perfecting their photos, Aviary is able to offer brands a uniquely captive audience. It brings brands and customers together during content creation, rather than passive consumption, where the majority of branded content such as banner ads gets placed.

The Aviary photo editor is available now to download for iOS at the App Store or for Android at the Google Play store. The I Heart UGG line of products is available at iheartugg.com. 

 

 

 

 

Posted
AuthorCarmel Hagen

Browsing and selecting photos in Aviary just got a big upgrade with Photo Editor by Aviary’s latest update - now available for free in the app store. You’ll love how easy it is to choose photos from your camera roll with our new photo selection grid, and we can’t wait to hear your thoughts on our improved undo/redo function (and thank you for the incredible four and five-star reviews you’ve shared so far)!

There are always lots of improvements tucked into each and every release, but here’s a quick look at the biggest highlights from this version:

All-New Photo Selection Grid. We’ve completely redesigned the way you browse and choose photos, making it faster and more fun to edit the photos you want.

Quickly find the exact photo you want to edit with the grid.

Quickly find the exact photo you want to edit with the grid.

Improved Undo/Redo. We’ve optimized the gestures for undo and redo, and also added a tutorial for first time users.

Undo/Redo tutorial.

Undo/Redo tutorial.

Photo Editor by Aviary is available in 17 languages including English, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian and Bahasa Indonesia. So wherever you are in the world, go explore Aviary’s new iOS Photo Editor app – and let us know what think!

Posted
AuthorBlake Darling
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Are you anxiously awaiting the premiere of Bravo's Game of Crowns? Prepare to meet the Queens with the glitziest collaboration we've done to date, featuring vanity mirror frames, "flash" filters and over 100 carats of digital diamonds. Look for the free Game of Crowns bundle in Aviary and select partner apps now through July 20, and share your glam creations with the hashtag #GameofCrowns! Official announcement below.

 

 

 

Aviary Partnership Brings Bravo's 'Game of Crowns' Glamor to Millions of Fan Photos

Mobile photo editing platform launches beauty pageant-themed filters, frames and stickers on its native ad network leading up to TV show premiere

NEW YORK CITY (July 10, 2014) — As fans await the series premiere of Bravo's "Game of Crowns" on July 13 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, mobile photo editing platform Aviary has partnered with the cable network to give its fans a head start on the glitz and glamor of the "Mrs." pageant docu-series. Aviary today released "Game of Crowns"-themed filters, frames and stickers on its mobile photo app network. The docu-series follows six pageant wives competing on the “Mrs.” circuit whose lives revolve around glamour, perfection and winning at any cost.

The free Bravo-sponsored content pack, which includes "Botox" and bronzer filters, vanity frames and bejeweled accessory stickers, allows fans to beautify their own photos and selfies with the show's protagonists' tools of the trade. The promotion is part of Aviary's unique native advertising model for mobile photography. Through its photo editing platform, which powers more than 7,000 different apps, including Aviary’s own self-titled iOS/Android app, Aviary will syndicate the "Game of Crowns" stickers, filters and frames across select network partners - the same strategy that has helped brands like Unilever, Samsung, Disney and now Bravo tap into Aviary's 75 million-user base.

"Bravo is committed to partnering with leading technology brands like Aviary to provide deeper levels of engagement for our audience," said Maria DeLuca, senior vice president, Consumer and Trade Marketing at Bravo Media. "The 'Game of Crowns'-themed content is the perfect accessory for fans to get in on the pageant action through TV and mobile."

Aviary's sponsored content model has generated tens of millions of installs of branded filters, frames and stickers. In total, more than 10 billion photos were created on the Aviary platform in the last year.

"From cooking shows to crime dramas to sitcoms, TV has a way of sparking our imaginations, inspiring kids to dress up like pirates and grown-ups to fantasize about more glamorous careers or adventurous lifestyles," said Carmel Hagen, director of branded content for Aviary. "By giving brand audiences a creative space for privately and playfully expressing themselves — in this case, by primping and voguing for their own beauty pageant — we're meeting an ageless need for this imaginative experience."

Aviary's novel approach helps brands engage with customers during mobile content creation, rather than consumption, so the interaction can be organic and inherently valuable for consumer and brand alike. Where traditional mobile ad strategies utilize standard banner ads, Aviary puts a premium on authentic brand exposure and engagement through utility and active experience.

"Aviary enables brands to provide creative, fun and engaging interactions with new and existing audiences," said Aviary CEO Tobias Peggs. "By helping Bravo bring a little bit of the pageant stage from the TV to fans' smartphone screens, we're creating an opportunity for fans to not just watch but participate in the pageantry of 'Game of Crowns.'"

The Aviary photo editor is available now to download for iOS on the App Store or Android on the Google Play Store, and "Game of Crowns" premieres Sunday, July 13 at 9/8c on Bravo.

 

About Aviary

Aviary is a photo editor for web and mobile with over 75 million users worldwide. On Aviary, people edit, enhance and creatively transform their photos, making every image sharable and print-worthy. Available as a free app on iOS and Android, and as licensable software powering the photo editing experiences of over 7,000 web and mobile destinations, Aviary has been used over 10 billion times to effortlessly perfect and share beautiful images. For more information, visit aviary.com 

About Bravo

Bravo is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Bravo has been an NBCUniversal cable network since December 2002 and was the first television service dedicated to film and the performing arts when it launched in December 1980.  For more information, visit www.BravoTV.com. Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BravoPR.

Posted
AuthorCarmel Hagen

Have you been waiting for a better way to manage your iOS photos? Ever spent what felt like forever scrolling through your photos looking for that epic selfie for #tbt? How about that photo you took last year where you're "knocking down" the Tower of Pisa? Or that beautiful sunset photo you took on your honeymoon? Well the wait is over!

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Picturelife has just announced a new version of their popular app that’s been rebuilt from the ground up to be a true replacement for the native iOS Photo experience! Users of the already powerful app can now access all of it’s amazing photo organization features without ever creating an account. Some of PictureLife’s killer features include:

  • Auto-organization of your photos by Days, Places, Faces, Favorites and Screens, so it's super easy to find any photo you need or get lost in photos of past trips.
  • Powerful photo editing with the Aviary SDK (developers download the SDK here)
  • Picturelife Cloud access with 8GB free storage for photo backup and auto-sync down from Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Dropbox, and more!

We’re super excited about this latest update, and we think you will be too!

Download Picturelife now!

Posted
AuthorAri

Almost 80 million people used Aviary last month to edit their photos, across 7,000+ partner apps using the Aviary Photo Editing SDK.

Aviary’s SDK enables developers to give their users the best photo editing experience possible, with about 15 minutes integration work. Leading companies like Kakao, Tango, Walgreens, Yahoo! Japan, Photobucket and more have all integrated Aviary into their apps – giving their users incredible photo editing tools alongside a never-ending stream of fabulous photo filters, creative stickers and fantastic frames.

We released a big update to our iOS SDK in April.  Hot on its heels comes a new update that developers can grab right here

This new update now includes our #Selfie Suite of tools – including our powerful “Blemish Remover” that the UK’s Daily Mail loved so much when we first pushed this our in our own app a few weeks ago. (Remember: we road test functionality in our own app first, before pushing an iterated and/or bugged-fixed version to the SDK.)

The UK's Daily Mail puts Aviary's Blemish Tool through its paces. 

The UK's Daily Mail puts Aviary's Blemish Tool through its paces. 

Some of our partners report that 7-in-10 photos edited in their apps are #selfies. If that sounds like your audience, then grab the new SDK now - and give your users “the secret to the perfect selfie” with Aviary.

Posted
AuthorTobias Peggs

In April, more than 75 million people edited their photos with Aviary. As a consequence, we serve content to millions of users around the world every day.

This content - which ranges from new photo filters and sticker packs to promotional messages - is served by a powerful back-end infrastructure that we refer to internally as "the CDS" (Content Delivery System). 

The system was built on Node.js and MongoDB to deliver virtually any content to devices of all kinds in a platform-optimized way. This flexibility allows us to regularly expand both the types of content we serve and the types of devices we serve to without any back-end code changes.

In this talk, given at the November 2013 MongoDB Users Group meetup, Aviary engineers Jack Sisson and Nir Zicherman discuss how they architected the CDS to withstand problems of scale and versioning. Enjoy the video! 

Posted
AuthorTobias Peggs

Part I - Infrastructure Setup

Introduction

Here at Aviary we are growing! Each day, we are shipping more and more code to our users at an increasing pace. As our product grows and we introduce more and more services, the number of times that we need to deploy new code each day grows as well. In our earlier days, deploying code could easily be accomplished manually. However, with scores of applications across a multitude of servers, this process has become arduous, complicated, and, as we’ve learned, quite unnecessary. As a Server Engineer at Aviary, one of my first large projects has been to standardize, secure, and automate the process of deployment across our entire infrastructure. In this post, I’ll be providing an in-depth look at what we tried, what worked, and what didn’t.

Background

To provide some background context, I will first take a moment to explain our earlier setup. Almost all of our work was (and remains) centered around GitHub; we use submodules and environment branches heavily. Our primary, public-facing applications run on Amazon’s EC2 cloud and make use of a variety of AWS services including: CloudFormation, Elastic Load Balancing, S3, and DynamoDB. Each application contains both production and staging environments on which the current GitHub environment branches are reflected. Deploying new code had previously involved manually logging into each running server instance and downloading the new code. While this is trivial for small environments, it is quite apparent why we needed to update this methodology for our growing infrastructure.

 

During the process of moving to what is known as “continuous integrated deployment,” we read countless articles, blog posts, and tutorials on the subject. Ultimately, we discovered that no single process is perfect for every organization; instead we collected some of the best workflows and used them to develop our own. Doing this has allowed us to create a process that works for our team, our applications, and our infrastructure, all while abstracting the most repetitive and time-consuming tasks into automated processes.

AWS OpsWorks

While automating our deployment process, we stumbled across a tool produced by Amazon called “AWS OpsWorks.” OpsWorks is marketed as a product that can easily abstract the deployment process away from developers, allowing them to focus on their applications. It does this by using “Stacks” of projects containing “Layers” of similar resources (such as a load balancer and a group of EC2 instances), and “Apps” of deployable code linked to GitHub. It makes heavy use of the automation tool, Chef, and includes a number of built-in layers for common project types. While OpsWorks was easy to setup, it had a number of drawbacks that ultimately led us to search for a different solution. Namely, OpsWorks can not run more than one layer of the same type within a stack or more than one app of the same type on servers within a layer (some of our applications require multiple applications on one server running on different ports). Additionally, it was slow due to its configuration method; a new instance could take ten to fifteen minutes to come online - unacceptable in a highly-trafficked, auto-scaling environment.

CloudFormation and Custom Scripts

After iterating over several custom deployment processes, we ultimately found one that works best for our team. Through a combination of CloudFormation (another AWS product), some custom scripts, and a Jenkins build server, we now have a fully automated, continuous integration build environment that provides flexibility and security.


The core of our process is CloudFormation, an AWS product that allows for the creation of resources through a JSON template. We have developed several templates for various infrastructure designs (a single EC2 instance, an auto-scaling group behind a load balancer, an HTTPS-enabled load balancer, etc.). These templates make use of parameters that allow them to be reused over and over for different projects.

A Sample CloudFormation Template Using Parameters

Bootstrap Scripts

The CloudFormation template uses these parameters to customize the application and environment once the machine starts. One of the most important parameters here is “BootstrapScripts.” Each of the scripts listed here is stored in an S3 bucket and run via CloudFormation. By abstracting various installation tasks into different scripts, we can configure an unlimited combinations of machine types.

Security Groups

A final parameter worth mentioning is “SecurityGroups.” We have created a number of groups that correspond to various use cases (such as _Public HTTP which provides access to port 80 for all source IPs). This allows us to maintain control over our resources instead of creating a different group for every instance which can lead to forgotten rules.

IAM Roles

Within our CloudFormation template, we use another AWS invention called IAM roles. IAM roles are an important security safeguard that allow a resource to access other resources within a restricted environment. Our role utilizes the concept of least privilege and only allows access to the resources it needs. AWS takes care of auto-rotating the AWS keys which allow us to avoid hardcoding AWS keys and secrets into the template or our code.

First Boot

When CloudFormation first runs on an instance, it installs the AWS Command Line Tools which are then used to download and run the bootstrap scripts. When that finishes, it checks to see whether application parameters were provided, and if so, downloads the latest application code from the S3 bucket. Another script is responsible for configuring the code and starting the server.

Part II - New Deployments

Jenkins

At this point in the process, we have an easily-configured environment that can begin running an application when it boots. The next step is to allow developers to deploy new versions of an application without having to worry about manually updating all of the running servers. Although OpsWorks accomplished this task, we ultimately settled on the tried-and-tested Jenkins server. On our Jenkins installation, we integrated GitHub with webhooks so that changes to a repository and branch could trigger a new build on Jenkins. On the Jenkins server, we created several managed scripts that allow us to deploy code to single EC2 instances, as well as all instances within a load balanced group.


When Jenkins detects a change on GitHub, it downloads the code to its workspace. After running any needed tests on the code and ensuring the build passes, it then runs a script we wrote that zips the code and uploads it to a provided S3 bucket (the same bucket the CloudFormation template used to download the code). Here is a small snippet of that code:

zip -q -r deployment.zip * -x "\*.git* \*.log";

aws s3 mv "$WORKSPACE/deployment.zip" "s3://bucket/deployment.zip";

Next, Jenkins logs into each server instance running that application, downloads the latest code, unzips it, stops the previously running server, and starts the new version. Here is a snippet of code that helps accomplish that:

INSTANCES=$(aws elb describe-load-balancers --load-balancer-name "$LBNAME" | grep "INSTANCES" | awk {'print $2'});

cd $WORKSPACE;
for i in $INSTANCES;
do
HOSTNAME=$(aws ec2 describe-instances --instance-ids ${i} | grep INSTANCES | awk {'print $15'});
if [[ $HOSTNAME == *ec2* ]]
then
echo "SSH into $HOSTNAME";
ssh -i "pem.pem" "user@$HOSTNAME" <<-EOF
/usr/local/launch.sh;
 exit;
EOF
fi
done;

When this script is complete, the latest version of the application will be running on every instance in the group.

 

Because Jenkins is integrated with GitHub, we can now update applications across any environment just by pushing to the configured branch. Through a third-party plugin, we have also integrated Jenkins with our chat platform, Slack, allowing us to receive notifications when the builds start and either succeed or fail.


This process is one that has been evolving for quite some time. While there are some smaller details I’ve left out, hopefully it has provided some insight into how Aviary now manages the deployment of applications across a varied and complex infrastructure.

Questions? Feel free to contact the post’s author, Matt Fuller, at matt@aviary.com.

We’re thrilled to release one of the biggest updates ever to Aviary’s iOS app today. You can get Photo Editor by Aviary - for free - right now, right here.

The app is stuffed-full of new features and technology – not to mention hundreds of photo filters, artsy frames and fabulous stickers. But it all adds up to being a magical way to help you create and share beautiful photos. Here are just of handful of highlights in this new release:

  • All-new suite of Selfie tools. We can’t take enough Selfies. But with this new app they’ll look even better than before! With our completely new Blemish tool you can magically remove imperfections from your Selfie with a single tap. Meanwhile, our Blur tool does exactly what it says - giving you the power to blur out lines/wrinkles and subtly soften edges. Our Red Eye Remover has been massively upgraded - and is perfect for post-processing those harshly lit pics. And our classic Teeth Whiten tool can quickly give your pearly whites a pop. Go style that Selfie!

Style your selfies with our all-new blemish tool, teeth whiten tool and blur tool.

Style your selfies with our all-new blemish tool, teeth whiten tool and blur tool.

  • Fabulous Content Packs to get creative. We’ve added a whole new range of fantastic filters, frames and stickers in our Supply Shop. You can add these in combination and take your photos to a whole new level. Pro tip 1: combine the Reportage Filters with the Blossom Stickers to create a high-fashion take on springtime style!

Get creative with fabulous stickers

Get creative with fabulous stickers

  • Undo/Redo. The more you get experimental and creative with Aviary’s Content Packs, the more you’ll want the freedom to undo and redo an effect before finalizing your edit. In fact that’s our Number One user request… and it’s finally here! Yep, you can now undo or redo any effect by simply swiping from left or right on your photo. You asked for it, we delivered it.
Apply an effect, then simply swipe to Undo and start again.

Apply an effect, then simply swipe to Undo and start again.

  • Automatically make your photos look awesome. If you want to simplicity to the extreme, we’ve completely overhauled our Enhance tool to include superfast one-tap photo editing for Food, Nightlife, Nature and Portrait pictures. We’ve also kept our classic Hi-Def option to give your photos an instantaneous boost. One tap and done!  
Apply some one-tap magic with our all new Enhance options.

Apply some one-tap magic with our all new Enhance options.

  • Share to everywhere. Once you’re done editing a photo, Aviary now makes it dead easy to share to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (you can even now tag your Facebook friends in a picture). Pro Tip 2: You can also share to WhatsApp, WeHeartIt, Tumblr, Line and more if you’ve already got those apps installed on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. Simply tap “More” on the Share Screen - and share photos anywhere you like!

Of course, as with every Aviary release, there are a huge number of additional optimizations, improvements and other goodies tucked away in every corner. Meanwhile, Photo Editor by Aviary is available in 17 languages including English, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian and Bahasa Indonesia. So wherever you are in the world, go explore Aviary’s new iOS Photo Editor app – and let us know what think!

Posted
AuthorTobias Peggs