Today, Aviary, a New York City based startup that offers a free suite of online photo-editing tools, releases its brand new photo Effects API, leveling the playing field for photo app developers on both web and mobile.

“When apps like Instagram and Picplz started coming out, we saw the trend of mobile photo apps with filters and sharing. We thought, ‘Why don’t we power these kinds of companies? Build an API for them to support them in the same way Twilio powers group messaging apps like GroupMe?”

-Alex Taub, Aviary’s Head of Business Development.

The new Effects API enables web and mobile app developers to process photos and improve them in three major areas:

  1. Photo Enhancements: e.g. removing red-eye, fixing lighting, blurriness and adjusting contrast and color levels.
  2. Apply Stylistic Filters: e.g. retro, polaroid-like, frames, comic book, etc. Aviary’s API will literally allow any mobile app developer to leverage its features, even well known apps like Instagram and PicPlz. (See image below)
  3. Utility operations: e.g. smart-crop a photo to a person’s face, rotate a photo, make       thumbnails, apply watermark, etc.

Effects API Filters 520x404 Aviarys new photo API takes flight, leveling the playing field for photo app developers

In late November, Aviary launched its HTML photo editor, marking its first step into the consumer space. Two weeks ago, they soft launched a brand new site design, complete with a brand new developer’s page, which went live officially moments ago.

Dev Homepage1 520x319 Aviarys new photo API takes flight, leveling the playing field for photo app developers

Today, Aviary is launching with new partners including Pixable (see details here), Zoomin, Imgur (coming this week), Hyperpublic, Dogster, Kaptur and Momentile, to add to its already robust partner network, which includes Digital Youth Network, Everloop, Fashism, HowMutch, Market Publique, Rrripple and Shopify.

Taub says the company is not pivoting, but expanding. Over the past year, they’ve been moving from the prosumer space into the consumer space, whilst growing in the developer space with hosted hackathons. The released API is an Instagram killer to some degree. Aviary’s Effects API can be used by numerous companies that deal with photos but photos aren’t their core. For example, if Tumblr used the API, when users upload a photo they could choose from a host of fun filters and editing tools from Aviary.

Right now, Aviary’s API is free but Taub says they will eventually have tiered pricing depending on volume. For now, devs can enjoy up to 1,000 calls a month during this beta period.

Pretty awesome, yeah? Not to say we told you so… but Aviary did make our list last November of NYC Startups You Need to Know About. Be sure to check it out to see who else you should be keeping an eye on and happy photo editing!