Adobe kills off its photo-sharing service Revel

The company is going all-in on the Creative Cloud Photography plan.

revel iphone

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First it was called Adobe Carousel. Then it was renamed Adobe Revel. But regardless of the moniker, it was the company’s cloud-based platform for amateur photographers to privately save and share photos and videos free from prying eyes. And soon it will cease to exist.

Adobe has announced that Revel’s run is coming to an end, and that users can opt to transfer the assets stored and shared by the service into Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography Plan. February 23, 2016, will be the last day both free and paying customers will be able to sign in to the Revel app.

Why this matters: Adobe considers its subscription-based software suite the key to Creative Cloud’s success, and the consolidation of Revel into the broader photography plan makes sense from that standpoint. That said, there is bound to be an uproar from customers currently using the Revel’s limited amount of free storage, since this move will amount to a price hike. Those who don’t want to pay more have a year to investigate alternatives.

Having it your way

The idea behind Revel—from curated group libraries to shared albums spanning multiple devices—is control: who sees which of your photos and when.

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Adobe Revel, not long for this world. 

The demise of Revel coincides with the ascendance of Adobe’s Lightroom Mobile as a standalone app—Lightroom being the technology on which Revel is based—and concentrates more of Adobe’s resources into the prosumer space.

“We plan to put all our energy and focus on the Photography plan,” Tom Hogarty, Adobe’s photo product manager, told Macworld. “A lot of the technology behind Revel is being used to power the availability of photos between all the those versions of Lightroom. We really want to double down and focus on Lightroom for Mobile—the whole Lightroom system—and broaden its audience. It has a lot of overlap with the audience for the Revel product in the first place.”

With the transition to the Photography plan, which had originally been targeted strictly to photo pros and advanced enthusiasts, Revel’s audience will now get a range of additional photo management and editing tools. It includes Lightroom CC on the desktop, Lightroom on mobile and on the web, Photoshop CC, Photoshop Mix, Photoshop Fix, and access to all of your Lightroom images via a growing ecosystem of storytelling and photography apps and services.

For example, you can access your Lightroom photos in Photoshop Fix for retouching and restoration; Photoshop Mix for compositing; plus Adobe Voice, Slate and Premiere Clip for creating visual stories and animated videos.

The Creative Cloud Photography plan backs up all the full-resolution original files that you add from your mobile device or the web, and makes full-resolution files from your desktop available via Smart Previews. Backup of full-resolution, original desktop files will be available in a future release, Adobe said.

Price hike for Revelers

The new plan, however, will cost more.

Adobe Revel is currently available in two tiers: free (for up to 2GB of cloud storage) and paid ($6 per month for unlimited storage). Adobe’s Photography plan is $10 per month, with no free tier. Current paid Revel subscribers who have yet to try the Photography Plan will get a free one-year trial, amortizing the cost somewhat and giving them time to consider other options. Users of Revel’s free tier won’t get the free trial.

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Adobe thinks Revel’s easy-to-use, slider-based edits are just as achievable in Lightroom, no matter your skill level. 

Though the company is aware that this will cause a stir, Adobe’s view is that the Photography Plan is a much better offering, combining Photoshop and Lightroom for the desktop along with specialized mobile apps.

In terms of skill level, Jim Mohan, senior director of Creative Cloud product marketing, says there should be very few roadblocks for Revel users to get comfortable with the new system. Because Lightroom offers editing tools that range from simple, one-click presets to advanced adjustments, and an extensive library of how-to videos and tutorials for photographers at all skill levels, Mohan believes this is the best way to integrate Photography plan newcomers.

Take these steps

If you have photos and albums on Adobe Revel, follow these steps to transition to the Creative Cloud Photography Plan no later than February 5.

  1. If you used Revel exclusively on your mobile device and still have copies of your files in your Camera Roll or gallery: Download Lightroom for Mobile for iOS or Android.

  2. If you no longer have copies of your Revel files on your mobile device, download them to your computer, download the Creative Cloud Photography plan, and import your Revel photos into Lightroom. Then, download Lightroom for mobile.

An FAQ and support forum will provide further information and answers to individual questions.

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