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Twitter Photo-Filters Maker: We Want to Democratize Creativity

Mashable
Twitter Photo-Filters Maker: We Want to Democratize Creativity
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Neon Sign

Five-year-old startup Aviary made headlines Monday after Twitter unleashed its new photo filters and effects. Aviary provides the mobile-software development kit that Twitter uses to add photo-editing tools to its Android and iPhone apps.

Just minutes before Aviary CEO Avi Muchnick left his New York City office Monday night to celebrate (see photo of him and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey below), he gave Mashable insight into the news, which coincidentally came on the heels of Instagram introducing new tools and disabling support for Twitter cards.

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"We've been working with Twitter for a few months," says Muchnick, who wouldn't elaborate on whether recent Instagram developments influenced the timing of Twitter's unveiling. "We've kept things moving as it was always supposed to be moving."

When asked whether Instagram swayed Twitter's timing, a Twitter spokesperson told us, "No, we've been working with Aviary for months to introduce ways to edit and refine your photos, right from Twitter."

Aviary, whose staff has grown to 21 employees since 2007, prepared for Monday's news by tweaking a statistic on its website, updating the number of photos edited in Aviary to 2 billion.

Aviary also has 25 million active monthly users and partners with 2,500 applications such as Flickr, Yahoo Mail, Imgur, Twitpic, Shopify, RockMelt and MailChimp.

"Our mission is to democratize creativity so everyone can make photos look great," Muchnick says. "For Twitter, we enhance the photos people tweet."

Aviary started as a web-based tool before launching its photo-effects API last May and then its mobile-software development kit last September. Those developments have helped Aviary rope in thousands of partners, which now include Twitter.

Aviary also released a Facebook app in January; it allows users to edit Facebook photos.

Meanwhile on Monday night, this happened:

Mashable toured Aviary's NYC office earlier this year. Here's a look back at the startup's home, where "tiny fake birds peek out from fake shrubbery and perch on top of pipes."

Neon Sign

Aviary's conference room is set up to look like a store, complete with a neon sign. This fits in with the outdoor theme of the rest of the office.

Click here to view this gallery.

Image via screenshot from Twitter's video announcement

This story originally published on Mashable here.

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