Aviary and WP8 SDK development

There have been a couple of stories posted in the last two days about Aviary and the Windows Platform. 

I wanted to clarify things for our developer community. 

Firstly, we are a small team passionate about helping developers add magic photo editing capability to their apps. This year has been very successful for Aviary - we have seen our ecosystem of developer partners quadruple, and have edited over 6 Billion photos on our platform. Meanwhile, through in-app monetization programs (such as selling premium filters, stickers, and frames) developers not only get fantastic technology from us, which can be integrated in minutes, but they can also make money with Aviary. 

So far so good. 

But as anyone connected with start up will tell you, success comes from focusing. The minute you do too much, you actually do nothing very well. 

For that reason, every single Quarter, we sit down as a team and plot a detailed product roadmap - a roadmap that is focused, that will meet and exceed the needs of as many of our developer partners and their users as possible, and that doesn't stretch our own team too thin. We take this exercise very seriously - and that's one of the reasons we've been able to deliver consistently high quality work. 

For this past Quarter (Oct, Nov, Dec), that focused product roadmap saw us release a new iOS SDK optimized for iOS 7; completely upgrade our Android offering to give developers the ability to sell premium filters, stickers and frames to their users; enhance our web-based photo editor to enable partners to upload their own premium content; as well as continue to invest in our core imaging technology. That was quite a lot to chew off! And it's paid off - it's been our biggest Quarter yet in terms of number of partner photo edits, number of new developer parters joining the ecosystem, and revenue we've created for that developer ecosystem.

However, in the name of focus, in this current Quarter, as has been pointed out on WPCentral and Engadget, we did not actively develop our Windows platform. We launched our SDK product for Windows last March and while we saw some initial pick up... the numbers were dwarfed by our 6,500 partners on iOS, Android and Web. Something wasn't working. So what we decided to do with Windows this Quarter was pause for breath, actively listen to feedback from the windows developer community, and rethink our approach for 2014. In retrospect, we could have done a clearer job of communicating to the Windows community what we were doing. (Especially, when we cited "lack of platform traction" in our forums, we were not bashing WP8 but talking about the pick up of our own platform on WP8 relative to its runaway success on iOS and Android). But hopefully now this blog post will clear things up.

There are certainly a lot of vocal Windows developers and fans out there! This is great news. We're looking forward to hearing more from you - please keep the feedback coming. Again, that helps inform how and what we develop in 2014. 

-- Tobias (Aviary's CEO)