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Cloud photo service Picturelife is being acquired, but insists this isn't the end

Cloud photo service Picturelife is being acquired, but insists this isn't the end


Photo backup services are finding it hard to survive alone

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The options for backing up and preserving your photos outside of Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Dropbox, Flickr, and other big companies are starting to dwindle. Picturelife — one of our previous favorites — has announced it's been acquired by StreamNation. The company is quick to note that it's not going anywhere and says the deal ensures "your photos a safe and secure future." Picturelife says it started thinking about its long-term prospects late last year, concerned about "not being able to keep our customers happy, or making them leave our service because we could no longer support our business."

The company notes that it never managed to reach a profitable state; apparently not enough users were paying for unlimited storage ($15/month) to get there. That's a shame, because Picturelife had a pretty great approach to keeping your photos safe while also replacing the default iOS camera roll.

Like it or not, your photos are probably most safe when stored with a big company

In StreamNation, Picturelife claims it's found a partner that shares its goal of "storing a lifetime of photos" securely for users. But today's announcement doesn't really dive into any changes that are coming with the acquisition. Will Picturelife still let users keep their photos with Amazon's reliable S3 cloud storage? Not from the sounds of it. StreamNation has its own hosting and aims to have everything on a single platform.

Beyond that, StreamNation says nothing will change for Picturelife's users in the short term, with account details and login credentials remaining the same. Looking to the future, StreamNation says it will "continue the impressive work achieved by the team until today." Some users are already panicking, but Picturelife is doing its best to make clear this isn't an Everpix situation.

Maybe the company deserves a fair shake at proving that, but we suspect some people are already looking at what else is out there. And aside from Google+, iCloud, OneDrive, Flickr, Dropbox, and photographer-specific sites like Smugmug, the list of options is getting smaller. Here's where the lesser-known apps featured in our 2013 photo backup guide stand as of now:

Everpix: After running out of time to hit the growth it needed to survive, Everpix announced it would be ceasing operations in November 2013. The Verge provided a comprehensive look at how a service so loved by its users failed to prove sustainable in the end.

Loom: Acquired by Dropbox in April of last year. Loom's existing cloud photo service was shut down, with its employees presumably putting their focus towards Dropbox's Carousel app.

Picturelife: Acquired by StreamNation in early 2015. The Picturelife service will continue for the "short term," and StreamNation is currently mulling over what to do with its existing Shutter app.