Tag Archive | "photobucket"

Photobucket Is Releasing A New App, Looking To Close The Loop On Their Storage Services

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When Photobucket redesigned its site and user experience with better uploading and new social features last fall, it did so in the hope of reestablishing itself as the go-to site for photo sharing and storage after falling in popularity relative to its competitors.

The ten-year-old company, which filed $5.67 million in equity funding in May, is now launching a mobile app that extends the full capabilities of its service to smartphone users. Recognizing that photo taking and sharing is fractured between people’s devices and services, Photobucket’s plan is to create one cohesive ecosystem to incentivize users to convert (or reconvert) to the system.

“Photobucket has a history of being an open, highly scalable [platform], and we wanted to build on that. We looked at two real market problems: photos are everywhere on multiple devices and services and platforms, and people are losing photos because it’s too hard to back them up,” said David Toner, Photobucket’s head of marketing.

Photobucket relaunched its mobile web app last month. It now serves as an onramp to the native app, which allows users to back up, edit, organize, and share their photos. While the app can serve as a quick organizational tool, users are still going to want to do major organization on the website.

In a few weeks time, Photobucket will be rolling out the next phase of their development: use as a social hub for event-specific photo uploads, for which people may be using various services like Instagram, Facebook, and Google+. They remained fairly quiet about the specifics, but the aim is to allow people to discover each other’s photos in a way that doesn’t require people to change their uploading behavior.

Photobucket’s U.S. monthly uniques stood at 20.85 million in October, up from 20.2 in September and 16.5 in April. But it still has a long way to go relative to other leading photo sites like Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, and Shutterfly. Of those sites, it showed the highest bounce rates during April through September of this year, according to numbers from SimilarWeb – likely the result of bad traffic from search.

It’s also behind Shutterfly and Flickr in page views per visit (Instagram is too, probably because its scrolling feed doesn’t require much clicking). On average time spent per visit Shutterfly and Instagram also came out on top of Photobucket.

[Image: Flickr / Pedro Ribeiro Simões]

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

File Transfer & Syncing Service Pixelpipe Shuts Down – Acquisition In The Works?

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San Francisco-based startup Pixelpipe, which previously offered services for uploading photos to a variety of online destinations, before moving to support a wider variety of file types under a cloud-to-cloud rebranding known as Pi.pe, shut down today. The company says it will now be “joining a much larger organization,” but the details are not yet finalized.

However, there are hints that at least some of the work Pixelpipe had accomplished won’t be all for naught, as the company’s brief but vague blog post notes that the team will be “working on similar themes to what we have delivered with both our Pixelpipe and Pi.pe services.”

Founded back in the later stages of the Web 2.0 era, Pixelpipe first launched back in fall 2008 as a personal media syndication utility that let users distribute audio files or images to a number of popular online services, including Flickr – or, to give you an idea of the timeframe – to sites like friendster, Pownce, Friendfeed, 72photos, Acrobat.com, Fotki, Buzznet, and others.

The company continued on for many years, raising $2.3 million in funding, and becoming fairly well-known – though never hugely popular – as a utility for quickly getting photos into the cloud, via desktop or mobile. Then, in April 2012, it made a slight pivot, or perhaps “expansion,” if you will, to focus on moving data between cloud services, instead of from a desktop computer or mobile phone into the cloud, as with Pixelpipe.

There are actually few ways to do this today – if, for example, you want to export your Facebook photo collection and move it to Flickr, or put all your Dropbox photos and files into Picasa (now G+ Photos) or Google Drive, for instance – it’s still hard to do after the fact. Though other tools like IFTTT have come along to automate actions that can occur at the time of upload or posting, as the case may be, managing larger libraries of cloud data is something consumers don’t really have many good tools to do. (Or maybe, don’t want to do?)

As of this May, the company’s users had transferred over 50 million files to date, up from 8 million in October 2012. Between the two services, the company had just over 1.2 million users, and the average Pi.pe user imported around 700 files and exports over 850.

Pi.pe had supported a ton of services including 500px, Amazon Glacier, Box, CX, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Facebook Pages, Flickr, Google Drive, Mixi, MySpace, Orkut, Photobucket, Picasa, Shutterfly, Smugmug, Sugarsync, Trovebox, VK, Walgreens, YouSendIt, and YouTube. It had also recently added a photo printing option, and had iOS and Android applications for Pi.pe (to replace the Pixelpipe app) in the works.

Obviously, we’re all placing wagers here on whether or not it turns out to be Yahoo who bought this one up. (We’re digging.) Phone calls and emails to Pixelpipe have not been returned.

Now, the company says that today it’s shutting down both the Pixelpipe and Pi.pe services, and yes – it’s effective immediately.

Both sites are redirecting to the company blog post, copied below.

Service update from Team Pixelpipe

The Pixelpipe team is pleased to announce that we will all soon be joining a much larger organization. While the details are still to be finalized, we can say that we will be working on similar themes to what we have delivered with both our Pixelpipe & Pi.pe services.

We are very proud of the many millions of files that we have been able to share over the years & thank all of our loyal users.

Today we are shutting down both the Pixelpipe & Pi.pe services. We hope that you have enjoyed using our free services & will only wish us the best as we transition to our new roles. Please follow our blog for further updates, you can direct any questions or comments you may have to aloha@pixelpipe.com

Liberate Your Media!

- Team Pixelpipe

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Photobucket Co-Founder Alex Welch Lets You Demand Photos From Friends With Lasso

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Six years after selling Photobucket to News Corp. for $300 million, Alex Welch is launching a new way to share photos with your family and friends. Rather than making photos available on Instagram, Flickr, or any number of social networks according to privacy settings, Welch’s new venture, Lasso, lets friends ask for photos from each others’ camera rolls.

Welch, who left Photobucket in 2009, decided about a year ago that he wanted to build a better camera roll for iOS with a few friends. He says they ultimately decided that the biggest thing missing from their camera rolls was their friends’ photos.

If you look at the pictures people share publicly as the tip of the iceberg of total photos they have, Welch argues that many people would be willing to share a lot more of those moments.

”You’re probably okay with sharing those photos with select people, but there isn’t an easy way to do that,” he tells me.

 

I’ve played around with the app a bit and I like it. You simply swipe a contact’s name to the right to send them photos, and to the left to request photos. When they’ve added new photos, a little subtle icon pops up next to their name.

The speed of sharing will be huge for Lasso. If people can ask close friends what they’ve been up to in their new city or on vacation, and they can quickly shoot over a dozen photos, Lasso could start attracting a nice user base.

There are a ton of ways I currently share pictures with friends besides social networks–SMS, Snapchat, and email immediately come to mind. And yet, looking through my camera roll, I realize there are a ton of images that I haven’t shared that my friends might enjoy.

Photobucket has raised a $1.25 million seed round from Welch, Jerry Murdock, Greylock Partners’ seed fund, and Trinity Ventures, which Welch says will mostly go toward more product development.

Lasso will expand beyond photos soon, explaining that the concept can be applied to “any piece of digital content,” from videos to documents to apps your friends are using.

“What are things that you do or that you have every day that you’d be okay sharing with me if I specifically ask for it,” he says.

The iOS app is live now, and Welch says the Android app should be released in the next couple of weeks.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Tracks Pivots From Photo Sharing To Social Self-Expression With The Launch Of Its New Kanvas App

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Kanvas Banner

The team behind group photo sharing application Tracks has launched a new app today called Kanvas. The new app is aiming to create a whole new wave of social self-expression by giving its users the tools to easily make fun, creative, mixed media projects that they can share with friends.

Up until now, Tracks.io has been focused on sharing photos and making them available to friends, allowing people with shared experiences to group them together in things called (surprise!) “Tracks.” After several iterations, however, it realized its users were hacking photoshops and memes and other non-traditional mixed media assets into their Tracks.

So it decided to try something new, building and launching Kanvas to help users create interesting new pieces of self-expression. What kind of self-expression? Well, it allows users to easily use their own photos or art provided, layer them on top of backgrounds and add stickers and text to quickly build unique new creations that they can share with friends.

The app has been seeded with a bunch of free backgrounds and fonts and stickers and whatnot that people can use to create new memes and images, but there are also premium packs available for those who are feeling particularly ambitious. That means that Kanvas, while free to download, already has a built in revenue model. According to Singh, the social aspect of the app could make certain stickers and tools viral — i.e., you see a friend using a certain sticker and you wanna buy that sticker pack as well.

The whole thing is designed to be real lightweight and easy-to-use, while also providing a sort of mobile social network for its users to share with. Tracks CEO Vic Singh told me that there were lots of mobile tools creation or editing mixed media assets, but none of them did a great job of bringing a social aspect in.

The hope is to make Kanvas kind of like an ultra-simple, mobile version of Photoshop that has a social network built in. You’re encouraged, of course, to follow other users, and users can follow you. Users can react with comments or stickers, allowing them to engage with other people’s content. And the Kanvas app connects to all the usual social networks where people are prone to expressing themselves — you know, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. (More are likely to follow.)

While the team will continue to support the existing Tracks product, and doesn’t have any plans to shut it down, Singh told me that the company is very excited by the opportunity it has in mixed media with Kanvas. Tracks, he said, is already pretty feature-complete, after making 26 updates over the past two years of its existence. And so for now, the focus will be on moving Kanvas forward with new features and capabilities.

The startup has raised $1 million in seed funding from investors that include General Catalyst, TMT Investments, Eniac Ventures, AppFund, BHV Ventures, Harbor Road Ventures, Atventure.us, and a handful of angels including Photobucket founder Alex Welch, who will be joining the board.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Aviary Continues To Solidify Its Position As The Go-To Photo Editing Solution With Photobucket Partnership

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Photo editing focused company Aviary has had the best six months ever in the tech space, snatching partnership deals with companies like Yahoo! and Flickr and most recently Twitter. What is becoming apparent is that there is an absolute need for a solid photo editing experience in many apps, and Aviary’s tools are there to serve the need. That’s a really good place to be in. It’s much more than just “filters.”

Today, Photobucket announced a partnership with Aviary to bring those tools to its users, which have uploaded over 10 billion. If you remember, Photobucket is the company that parted ways with Twitter as it set out to do its own photo service along with Aviary. Additionally, Aviary announced a new CEO in late December, Tobias Peggs, and the company doesn’t seem to be missing a beat. The company says it currently has over 2,500 partners, 25M+ monthly users and 2B edited photos.

In a blog post, this is how Aviary described the partnership with Photobucket, as far as which tools it would be integrating:

Photobucket turned to Aviary to provide robust and consistent cross-platform photo editing capabilities for its users. We carefully design our SDKs to be native to each platform we offer — iOS, Android, Windows Phone, HTML5 — so the product is strong, the deployment is simple, and users get a seamless and intuitive photo editing experience no matter where they are. Today, you’ll find Aviary on Photobucket’s website, and soon, on its iOS and Android apps.

Its previous CEO, Avi Muchnik, told me in December that the company is trying very hard to “democratize creativity.”

Aviary’s new CEO sat down with us to speak about how the transition is going and how the Photobucket deal came about:

TC: How have you settled into your new role, was the transition pretty seamless?

Tobias Peggs: The transition seems to have gone very well.

I’ve known co-founders Avi and Iz for a while, and we’ve always enjoyed thinking through business issues or product problems together – so that helps a lot. Plus they had put a fantastic team together in NYC – which made things even easier for me when I joined.

And, of course, Aviary has got tremendous momentum right now – crazy growth, big-name partner announcements, etc.

So my job has really been to transition in and simply try to help everyone in the company do even more, even faster.

That’s quite different to some instances where a new CEO comes in and has to kick start or reboot the business. In that regard, I feel very fortunate.

TC: How did this partnership with Photobucket come about, did they reach out to you?

Tobias Peggs: It’s actually a funny story. When Avi asked me to join the company last Fall, the first thing I did was talk to some friends in the photo space to get their insight and opinion. One of my good friends, Doug McCuen, runs Engineering at Photobucket. So I had a beer with Doug and talked about Aviary. At the end of that beer, I decided I’d be a fool not to join, and he decided Photobucket should really be partnering with Aviary. By the time I started full time in December, our combined BD and Engineering teams had worked their magic, and the integration was half way to completion. It’s great to see it ship today.

TC:What are your thoughts on becoming the standard photo editing software driving the space? Is that a conscious goal?

Tobias Peggs: That is a goal, yes. Today we have over 2,500 partners offering their users a fantastic photo editing experience powered by Aviary. In 2012 we edited 2bn photos across that partner network. And we’re only speeding up so far in 2013.

TC: Are you working on more partnerships currently?

Tobias Peggs: Yes – right around the clock. Literally. We’re working on new partnerships in Europe, Japan, China as well as the US. NYC is the city that never sleeps, and that’s certainly true in our office

We also chatted with Photobucket’s Chief Product Officer, Kate Hare, about why it was important to provide photo editing tools like Aviary offers to its own users. Photobucket has gone through a radical transformation itself recently, rededicating itself to providing a sticky experience for its users on the web with new features like “Stories”:

TC: What made you decide to offload photo editing to aviary?

Kate Hare: Photobucket has used 3rd party editors previously so we can focus on areas where we add value and differentiate ourselves from the competition. Aviary provides an extremely flexible, scalable solution that meets our users’ wide variety of needs. Aviary’s editor is powerful enough for our power users, yet intuitive enough that beginners can jump right in. And most importantly, Aviary offered Photobucket a stronger mobile solution and alignment with our business model.

TC: Are you able to focus on other features for the site and your users by not handling the load that Aviary can?

Kate Hare: We are seeking to deliver a best-in-class user experience across the entire image lifecycle to drive growth and efficiency. Partnering with Aviary allows us to focus on evolving the all-new Photobucket to deliver a unique value proposition — what we’re best at — enabling our users to upload, create and share their life’s stories…simply, easily and everywhere they want.

TC: What was it about Aviary that impressed you the most.

Kate Hare: Aviary shares our commitment to delivering a great customer experience. In addition, Aviary is a partner-first company that provides native SDKs, so we could easily ingest and deploy their tool set across multiple platforms. They also have the scale and roadmap of new features that will help Photobucket meet & exceed the evolving needs of our users.

———

The perfect part about Aviary’s model is that as a company it can focus on making world-class photo editing solutions that power other popular apps. In a way, it’s the equivalent of Facebook’s Social Graph, in that it powers many other applications. With that focus, the work is paying off, as I’ve heard from other companies who have photo components that Aviary is starting to be asked for by name by its users. That’s a sign that you’re creating something valuable, especially in an age when everyone has a camera in their pocket at all times.

When you think about how many photos that you take and store online, the answer to what comes next isn’t always to simply take more photos, because with tools like Aviary, you can breathe new life into photos that you’ve already taken. By placing their SDK in your app, you’re assuring your users a fantastic experience that will bump engagement quite a bit. If users spent three or four minutes making their photos prettier, they’ve bonded with your service that much more, and you’d have Aviary to thank for it.

Depending on the size of the app or company, Aviary has a free solution all the way up to an “enterprise” option, which is priced on case-by-case basis. With photos never going out of style, Aviary is here to stay. Remember when the only way to edit photos was by learning and using Photoshop? Technology has certainly come a long way.

[Photo credit: Flickr]

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Vine Just Made Twitter A Stronger Social Network

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Vine, in case you missed it, is a standalone iOS app from Twitter that lets users create short, 6-second videos that run on a loop.

Users record by holding their thumb against the screen, and stop by releasing. The short clips can then be threaded together and shared on Vine itself, Twitter or even Facebook.

Here’s how a silly video-sharing app (which has been done before, by the way) makes Twitter a stronger social network.

Content Generation

Since Twitter launched, it’s never had a non-text platform for media creation. Sure, you can take photos within the app, and Twitter tapped Aviary to add Instagram-like filters to that process, but this is Twitter’s first standalone product that lets users share in some way other than a tweet.

Twitter is a network based around media. Despite its brevity by nature, a lot of content passes through Twitter’s network, including, but not limited to, pictures, videos, websites, etc. The vast majority of that content is not Twitter’s, though it’s that same content that places such a high value on Twitter’s ad revenue stream through Promoted Tweets, trends, etc.

Rather than let Facebook’s Instagram push all the juicy content through Twitter’s real-time network, the company has decided to build its own, new Instagram. Vine is Instagram for video.

This has been done before by companies like Socialcam and Viddy, but the numerous companies who’ve dipped their toes in the cinematic pool have found the water a bit chilly. Twitter, a trusted and massive brand, is sure to pick up more of an instant user base, thus making Vine more attractive to even more new users. No one likes an empty room, and every video-sharing app until now has been just that.

Creation Vs. Consumption

Twitter’s ads are valuable because of the number of eyes on its network at any given time. Eyes come for the content. Sometimes that ends up being tweets (usually about real-time, live events). Sometimes it’s pictures from Instagram or videos from YouTube. And then, of course, there are the links to wonderful articles (sometimes about technology).

When Instagram turned off Twitter Cards integration, essentially eliminating Twitter’s ability to embed Instagram photos directly into the stream, a huge chunk of Twitter’s visual appeal went out the window. Sure, Twitter has its Photos feature, with Instagram-esque filters powered by Aviary, but does that compete with Instagram’s level of engagement? No.

By adding Vine content to Twitter directly, I’ve actually found that Twitter’s a slightly nicer place to be. Yes, it’s been just one day and most of the Vines are pretty bad, but it’s something I’ve never seen before on Twitter. It’s a video — a cute, quick-cutting, clearly amateur video of my friend, or my friend’s dog, or my friend’s hand. I can’t explain why I’m drawn to it, just like I can’t explain why I spend an astounding amount of time looking at pictures of food on Instagram. All I know is that my eyes like it.

What I don’t like, however, is browsing through Vines in the Vine app. It’s loud! (Users have the ability to include sound or mute sound in their Vines.) It’s also old. Vine uses an almost identical UI/UX to Instagram, complete with the stream, likes, and comments, and I already have one of those. In fact, I’m already on plenty of social networks and am somewhat offended each time a company asks me to join a new one.

But this actually works in Twitter’s favor. People only need to use Vine for sharing, not necessarily for browsing. They have Twitter for that. Want to share a video instead of Instagram a photo? Just hit up the Vine app and share via Twitter. You don’t have to go back to Vine until you want to share something else (or you want to check your likes, you narcissistic bastard!).

And perhaps more importantly to Twitter’s revenue stream, Vine works like Instagram in that it actually coaxes a bit more information out of its users than Twitter. People are much more likely to share their location alongside a photo (like on Instagram) or a video (like on Vine) than they are with a simple text tweet. In essence, Vine makes people more comfortable sharing location, which is just another (very powerful) metric Twitter can use to target ads.

Photos Are So Over

There is no such thing as a social network without photos, and if there is, it shouldn’t exist. The human fascination with photos is a powerful thing. Even a non-revenue-generating Instagram is worth $1 billion.

But Twitter was late for this very important date with photo destiny. After failing to acquire Instagram for $500 million, the company turned to Photobucket for serving up pictures and video. But the content was never owned by Twitter. Meanwhile, Facebook upped the ante and bought Instagram, thus owning this generation’s library of photography.

So Twitter was like, “Let’s just build our own Instagram!” They launched Photos, which let users take and share photos from right within the app. They even let Aviary power filters for Photos, so it felt a little more like Instagram. To this day, I’ve never used an Aviary filter in Twitter. The short version of the story is that Twitter was way late to the photo-sharing game, and quite possibly missed the boat.

So instead of spend a lot of time and energy and money on either building or buying yet another photo-sharing venture, Twitter up and decided to skip that fight entirely. It’s been thought for a while now that the human fascination with photo-sharing would eventually make the logical step to video. It was all a matter of when.

Instead of fighting a battle they’re already losing, Twitter is starting a brand-new war over video, and they’ve already set up camp near the battleground and polished their weapons. Are you ready for a fight, Facebook?

More UGC = More Eyes = More $

Vine isn’t expected to replace Instagram’s presence on Twitter, nor is it meant to replace YouTube or Flickr or anything else. That’s why it’s a relatively new form of media — a self-made video rather than another filtered photo.

As it stands, it doesn’t generate any revenue either.

Rather, Twitter is giving its users yet another way to push cool stuff through the network. Any user-generated content, including Vine videos, Instagram pics, etc. is very valuable in terms of advertising. If a social network has a high volume of user-generated content, it’s generally believed by advertisers that said social network has an engaged, attentive audience. In turn, any ads on said social network increase in value as more UGC is shared.

It’s beautiful Silicon Valley math at its finest.

Twitter already has tons of UGC flowing through its network, which is why it’s supposed to bring in over $1 billion in revenue over the next year. The only problem is that almost none of that UGC is Twitter’s, as I mentioned before. Vine simply acts as an aid to Twitter’s greatest weakness: being a true social network as opposed to being everyone’s favorite platform.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

PSA: The Dot In Your Gmail Address Doesn’t Matter

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Somewhere out there, a woman named Sarah Perez is probably very frustrated by technology. No, not me, a different Sarah Perez. She signs up at websites to receive information, and it never comes. Friends invite her to gatherings, and she never hears about it. She tries to reset her password, but the password reset never arrives. You see, Sarah’s problem is that, since around 2008, I’ve been getting her email.

I don’t know how the problem started exactly, but the other Sarah Perez can’t seem to remember her email address. It’s not sarah.perez@, as she mistakenly believes. The dot doesn’t matter – the email still comes to me.

This isn’t the only person whose email I’ve mistakenly received. There are also a couple of other Sarahs, who do know their email address, but whose friends can’t keep it straight. For example, when I received Sarah E. Perez’s email, I looked down in the thread and found her actual email address, and forwarded it. She apologized. It never happened again.

Then there are those who are less tech-savvy. One time, Sarah J. Perez’s mom sent me a photo slideshow, so I emailed her back to tell her I wasn’t her Sarah, and to please let her daughter know that this my address. She then did so, cc:ing me. Her daughter replied all: “I was only in Tampa for a short time,” she wrote her mom. I scratched my head over that one for a minute, but then figured it out. You see, I’m in Tampa. And her mom told her that someone else had her email address in Tampa, so Sarah thought that we had both been assigned the same email because we had both lived in Tampa. Like email was a phone number that had been reassigned.

Oh, dear. Poor Sarah J.

That was in April 2008. Five months later, Sarah’s mom sent me another photo slideshow.

But outside a couple of odd incidents, the bulk of the misdirected email seems to be for someone (or multiple someones?) who think they are sarah.perez@gmail.

This began in 2008. I began receiving email during a time when some Sarah Perez was attempting move from New York to Connecticut. At first, I assumed the emails from the apartment searchers and movers were spam. But upon closer inspection, I realized that the companies were emailing me with very specific information – searches that matched a narrow set of criteria, estimates on moving costs, etc. At one point, I emailed one of the companies back to inform them that I was the wrong Sarah. After a couple of tries, it worked. The email stopped.

Not too much later, a friend of Sarah’s emailed me a photo of black chiffon dress she found on eBay. Then things were quiet for a while.

In 2009, I received another note for Sarah. This time a realtor was emailing her details about a condo she was looking at. Wrong Sarah, I told him. Oh sorry, he said. “I forgot to put a ‘.’ between the first and last names,” he replied. I didn’t bother responding. The dot doesn’t matter. Sigh.

A month later, a friend of Sarah’s invited me to Facebook. Two months later, Sarah’s aunt Nancy emailed. Great, now Sarah is giving out the wrong email address to family and friends, I thought. I get enough email as it is, I don’t need someone else’s.

In October 2009, the woman who thinks she’s sarah.perez@ started getting invitations to her Bible study group. I responded again to the sender: wrong Sarah. Oops, came the reply. But in November, I was invited to attend again.

Sarah’s friends may have started catching on at some point because that same month, someone sent out a feeler emailer, saying “just to check and make sure this gets through.” Nope, wrong Sarah, I wrote again. OK, came the reply, I’ll let her know.

2010 rolled around. Sarah’s church friends emailed again, another friend sent her an Evite to a party, and in April, the same friend who had promised me she would let Sarah know that I’ve been getting her personal email, emailed me a second time. This time, she was sending Sarah information about where she could get free healthcare, since she didn’t have any health insurance.

Well, now I was worried. I hope Sarah is OK, I thought. I secretly hoped for more misdirected email after that – you know, just to be sure.

In June 2010, Sarah Perez received a small $500 scholarship from The Red Cross, but I think that might have been for a different Sarah. Maybe a student. In July, Sarah’s friend invited her to a museum outing. And in December 2010, I got an email about the family reunion.

By March 2011, I guess Sarah gave up. She clearly couldn’t remember her email address, so she created a new one. I got that email too, this time, from Google. Apparently, Sarah somehow associated her new email address with her old one. (I have no idea.)

Congratulations on creating your brand new Gmail address,
[redacted]@gmail.com.
Please keep this email for your records, as it contains an
important verification code that you may need should you ever
encounter problems or forget your password.

You can login to your account at http://mail.google.com/

Enjoy!

The Gmail Team

Oh Sarah, will you never learn?

Yes, I suppose I could have emailed her at her new address, but I didn’t have time to do so when the notification first came through, and based on the numerous password reset requests I’m getting now, I don’t think Sarah can access that new account currently. I missed my window.

Despite the new address, the emails kept coming. I was invited to a bridal shower in summer 2011. In July 2012, a funeral. I did not bring a salad or dessert as requested, but I’m sure somewhere out there Sarah Perez was sorry for your loss. (I just hope she heard about it.) I couldn’t help but glance at the Mission Trip photos attached to the email that arrived last month, but I ignored the “Hey, what’s up” email from Sarah’s boyfriend (?) Jesus and the open house invite in March.

This summer, I guess I gave up, too. I just archived all those password reset emails that came in during August, September and October. Sorry, Sarah, I hope you got back into your new email account. Maybe you should just start over again. May I suggest Hotmail?

In late September, Sarah Perez signed up for Photobucket. I received her account welcome email, and so far, about seven emails confirming her photo uploads. Fortunately for her, Photobucket is password protected when I click through. That’s too bad, because after all these years, I was hoping to get a glimpse of the other Sarah Perez.

But I’m glad she’s well.



Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Pixelpipe Automates Pi.pe, Now Lets You Schedule File Transfers Across Cloud Services

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Today, the San Francisco-based startup Pixelpipe is adding a new feature called “Pipelines” to its file transfer service Pi.pe. The feature automates file copying between cloud services, similar to the way IFTTT automates other tasks on the web. Now available as a public beta, Pi.pe first launched in April of this year, offering users a quick and easy way to move media between a dozen online services, including Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, SkyDrive, Instagram, and others. Today, Pi.pe supports 20 services, including new addition Amazon Glacier.

A number of utilities have popped up in recent months to help users migrate files between various cloud storage or photo-sharing services, but none have been as complete a solution as what Pixelpipe provides via Pi.pe. Many of these alternatives initially generate a little buzz, but when you go back to your saved bookmarks, you’ll find they have disappeared. Others just never grow beyond some very basic functionality. Pi.pe, however, has been steadily improving.

With the debut of its Pipelines feature, Pi.pe now allows you to specify an input service, several destination services, and lets you configure the interval at which it should check for new content. For example, you could have it check your Facebook Photo uploads once a week, and have them backed up to your Flickr account. Or you could automatically have your Picasa photos moved to Dropbox every day, perhaps. Also, thanks to the addition of Amazon Glacier, Amazon’s newly announced cloud storage solution, Pi.pe now puts a consumer-friendly front end on what’s one of the best storage deals on the web: $0.01 per GB per month. Glacier, generally intended for business data archiving, hasn’t really been an option for consumers until now because it didn’t have an accessible user interface. Pi.pe changes that.

Currently, the Pipelines feature offers a fairly comprehensive lineup of services for automated export, including 500px, Box, Dropbox, CX, Evernote, Facebook, Facebook Pages, Flickr, Picasa, Google Drive, Shutterfly, SkyDrive, SmugMug, SugarSync, Photobucket, Orkut, Myspace, Russia’s VK, and YouTube. For import, the selection is limited to 12 services: 500px, Facebook and Facebook Pages, Flickr, Google Drive, Instagram, Myspace, Picasa, Shutterfly, SmugMug and VK.

Since Pi.pe’s debut, it has transferred over 8 million files, including photos, videos, audio and office files. CEO Brett Butterfield says that one user even moved 49,000 files in a single transfer! Initially, the company believed users would just use Pi.pe for file migration, but found that many were also using it for data backup and storage, which led the company to add the automation.

Now the team is working on adding Pixelpipe’s sharing features into Pi.pe. “Pixelpipe features will just be absorbed into Pi.pe – this will be our new platform,” says Butterfield. “We’ll be plugging the mobile applications into it. Basically, it will have all the features of Pixelpipe, but just under a different domain, and a new look on the website.” He explains that the current mobile apps will continue to work, and the Pixelpipe domain will remain up as well – it’s just the website and branding will look different. This is all further down the road, however.

Why the change? “We do a lot more than pixels,” Butterfield says.

Pipelines is available now on Pi.pe, and because the service is still in beta, it remains free.





Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Trinity Ventures Has Raised Its $325M Eleventh Fund

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Hey, remember that $325 million fund we said Trinity Ventures was raising last week? Well, the firm says it finished raising the fund yesterday.

General partner Fred Wang tells me that the target for the fund, Trinity Ventures XI, was $300 million (the same as its last fund), but there was enough interest from limited partners (LPs) that it raised an extra $25 million — there was a hard cap at $325 million.

Even though that’s a sizable amount, Wang says it was a deliberate choice not to raise even more, because one of Trinity’s points of pride is its partner-to-capital ratio. (The firm’s website lists seven general partners.) In Wang’s words, that ratio reflects a willingness to be a hands-on investor, providing “heavy lifting and elbow grease.”

“We don’t tend to chase those companies marching up and down Sand Hill Road, doing a beauty pageant of venture firms,” he says. “We like to date before we get married.”

Trinity plans to continue investing in cloud and mobile infrastructure, digital media, software as a service, social commerce, and entertainment, with roughly a half-and-half breakdown between consumer- and enterprise-facing companies. Wang notes that the firm has also been doing more seed investments in the past couple of years, and that it opened an incubation space called Dolores Labs in San Francisco. Both moves are responses to the fact that entrepreneurs can now build companies with much less capital, he says.

The new fund comes largely from LPs who had invested in Trinity’s earlier funds. However, Wang says he’s hearing that a lot of VCs are trying to raise more money this year, and that those LPs are “pruning” the firms that they work with.

Success stories from Trinity’s portfolio include Aruba Networks (public), Blue Nile (public), Extreme Networks (public), LoopNet (public), Photobucket (acquired by News Corp.), Speedera Networks (acquired by Akamai), Starbucks (public), and Sygate Technologies (acquired by Symantec).



Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Source: Twitpic Has Been In Talks To Sell, And Getting Kicked Out Of Twitter’s Apps Won’t Help

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Correctly anticipating that Twitter’s API crackdown would reach photo sharing services, Twitpic is actively talking to at least two potential acquirers and has received offers over the past few weeks, said one source familiar with the discussions. Founder Noah Everett is said to have wanted to sell and move on to new projects.

Twitpic may have hoped to get a sale brokered before the hammer dropped, but today The Next Web noticed that Twitter removed the option from its apps to select a third-party image sharing service, killing off  Twitpic’s main distribution channel.

Now that Twitpic won’t be hosting nearly as many photos tweeted from mobile just as Buzzfeed heard, you can expect a traffic drop. That means fewer views of the ads Twitpic places next to user photos. It likely saw this coming and got acquisition talks started, but now that it’s been ejected from Twitter Mobile, it may be more difficult to find a buyer, or the price it could command may be reduced.

Details about who’s made offers, the potential price, and what assets would be sold are scarce. We have heard Everett was in discussions with two different companies regarding the sale and may have pitched others. My source says Everett would not necessarily come along with a sold Twitpic, as the founder hopes to explore fresh ideas. We’re waiting to hear back from Twitpic about these questions.

An acquisition could be lucrative for Everett, as his company is bootstrapped and did $1.5 million in ad sales in 2009, keeping $1.05 million of that. One report from 2010 said he was looking to sell the service for $10 million.

One potential acquirer could be Twitter itself. The microblogging platform partnered with Photobucket in June last year to host photos posted directly to Twitter.com so users didn’t have to upload them offsite and paste in links. Photobucket helped it launch Twitter Galleries last August.

Still many think Twitter’s image service could be a lot better. Our hardcore Twitterer Drew Olanoff noted that discovery, image quality, tagging, hashtagging could all improve. Meanwhile, Twitter could offer photos for direct messages (aka private photos), filters, effects, watermarks, or slideshows too. Buying the startup that handles these features better could give Twitter a jumpstart. Plus Twitter clearly has lots of leverage since it shut Twitpic out of its mobile apps today.

Other possible buyers include media companies, like Say Media which could add it to its network of properties, or CNN which could be attracted to Twitpic as a citizen journalism tool: Twitpic hosted the famous and extremely popular early photo of the the plane that emergency landed in the Hudson River in 2009. UberMedia or Hootsuite could buy Twitpic to beef up their Twitter tools.

In any case, Twitpic would be disadvantaged in negotiations after a tough year. A study by analytics firm Sysomos found that in May 2011 Twitpic was hosting 45.7 percent of the photos tweeted, compared to Yfrog with 29.3 percent and Lockerz with 17.4 percent. But then Twitter partnered with Photobucket. By November, Twitter/Photobucket had become the No. 1 photo-sharing service, handling 36 percent of shares, with Twitpic slipping to 30 percent, according to Skylines.

Since then, Instagram usage has skyrocketed, meaning more photos are being published from other apps rather than being uploaded and tweeted right through Twitter where some users defaulted to Twitpic hosting until today. While it may be a hard time for the company to convince acquirers to pay a high price, things might only get worse once data comes in on just how hard Twitter’s platform tightening squeezes Twitpic.

Expect more companies scorned by Twitter’s API changes to pivot or sell. Twitpic might be one of the first, but it won’t be the last.



Article courtesy of TechCrunch

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