Aviary knows photos are big in Japan

Aviary’s Japan rep Archie Archibong

Read a Japanese translation of this piece here

Last week we heard that Aviary, an image editing platform provider, would be making its first international expansion by coming to Japan. The company has already seen significant success, especially in recent months, with over 50 million monthly active users in May [1].

The company now boasts more than 4600 partners that have integrated Aviary into their systems. Mixi is perhaps the most prominent ones (that we know of) in Japan, as Aviary has has helped them created and implement their own custom stickers for their app (pictured right).


I had a chance to meet with Aviary representative Archie Archibong this week to find out a little more about the why the company is here in Japan. He explained:

The demand we were getting from Japan, we get a lot of people reaching out to us asking how they can best leverage our product. And it became very evident that we should put a presence here.

Archie noted the importance of meeting partners face-to-face, and trying to find out what kind of things they need. In this way, he explains, it helps Aviary figure out its own roadmap as well. So far meetings in Tokyo tend to result in further introductions and further meetings, and that’s the sort of thing that you just don’t get conducting business from afar over email or Skype, he adds.

The company is planning to hold its fifth Photo Hack Day in Tokyo in the fall, which should be a great event for the community, especially for the many startups involved in photo app development [2]. That kind of event not only helps local developers, but it also raises Aviary’s profile in terms of spreading awareness of the sort of services they offer.

Establishing a presence in the country is a smart move for Aviary, given the abundance of quality photo apps in Japan. A recent report from Flurry Analytics indicated that Japanese mobile users are more likely than any other country to use photo apps, both on iOS and Android (see chart below). If that’s the case, we expect Aviary will find lots of opportunities here.


  1. That figure was announced by Aviary on May 28th, referring to “the last 30 days”. So we can say approximately May.  ↩

  2. The previous event (Photo Hack Day 4) was held at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park back in April. At that event, Archie – who has a computer science background – even made his own iOS app.  ↩