Picturelife Creaking under the Strain?
Now, this could be a good thing, or it could be a bad thing. It’s usually a bad thing, right?
I’ve been experiencing problems sharing photos on Picturelife recently in conversations – when I do, I get something like this:
The reply from Picturelife was very prompt – actually, VERY prompt, given it’s somewhere between 4.49pm and 7.49pm on a Saturday in the holiday season over there.
I apologize for this issue you are running into. When sending photos to people who are not in Picturelife, there should not be an issue with viewing. We are encountering a high processing backlog at the moment, which is preventing the viewing experiences for some of our users from being optimal. I apologize for this. We are in the process of resolving this.
I will let my team know of this issue you are encountering, and we will try to get this fixed quickly.
So – is Streamnation (who bought Picturelife a while ago) really stepping up and improving?
I suspect not. I doubt the customer service respondent is US-based – most likely it’s an offshore customer support centre; after all, if Streamnation is a lean startup (I count 8 in the offsite event photo), then for a service they don’t have intimate knowledge of anyway (the founder and the customer support lead that I was familiar with both left soon after the sale), it’s going to be the same effort to train up either Bay area or Offshore resources, and much cheaper for the latter.
So if the error is due to ‘backlog’, does that mean that the servers are overloaded? Now, this is interesting. My first reaction was that as PL were using AWS, this implies SN are trying to cut costs on the compute. However, since SL said that they had moved PL to their own servers, it could hopefully mean that indeed the servers are overwhelmed, or there’s been a partial outage, and the team is indeed working the holiday trying to bring it back online. I suspect that’s too optimistic though – would the support guys be working the weekend as well as the operations guys?
Either way, it’s a shame. I keep looking and looking, but Picturelife (now SL) is the perfect combination of cloud service, cost, convenience and control/ownership, that no-one else offers – with the unfortunate exception of Google. Long may PL continue.