Three photo sharing and management sites shutting down

According to a report at xconomy.com, three Web 2.0-era photo sharing and management services-BubbleShare, Riya, and PicMe-announced late last week they’re shutting down operations. According to the article by Wade Roush: “The closings aren’t entirely coincidental. Greg Raiz of Raizlabs, the Cambridge, MA-based software development house that built PicMe, says he accelerated plans to mothball and hopefully sell the application after he learned about the other shutdowns. ‘We had seen a number of other photo companies close shop and felt that if someone was ‘shopping’ for technology we should toss our hat in the ring now while the opportunity was hot,’ Raiz says.”

According to Roush’s article, Raiz contends the big photo sharing entities — Flickr, Facebook, Photobucket, and Google (with its Picasa application)-dominant the photo management and photo sharing market. “Ultimately it’s very difficult to be in the consumer photo space,” says Raiz. “Google, Flickr, and Facebook essentially set the bar and give away their services for free or close to free. While we still feel certain aspects of our solution are better we can’t compete in a feature war and we can’t out-market them.”

The Toronto startup behind BubbleShare was purchased by Canadian media firm Kaboose in 2007; the BubbleShare technology became part of Disney Online when that company acquired some of Kaboose’s assets this April, according to Roush. BubbleShare website says the service will close down as of Nov.15, and all photos stored on the site will be erased.

Riya founder Munjal Shah sent an e-mail to users (reproduced at TechCrunch) explaining similar capabilities are now available from Picasa and Apple’s iPhoto software, and that Riya will shut down as of Aug. 21. In any case, Shah and the rest of the team behind Riya had long since shifted their efforts to Like.com, a shopping site based on similar color and pattern matching technology.