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SmugMug saves almost 200 million photos from shuttered Picturelife

Earlier today, online photo hosting service Picturelife announced via email that it is officially dead. After four years, it will cease operation due to “a challenging economic environment and a decreasing quality of service.”

Normally, this spells bad news for the users, as all of the photos usually end up deleted after a certain amount of time. Not this time, though.

Thanks to a partnership with SmugMug, all of the nearly 200 million photos held on Picturelife’s servers will be transferred over to SmugMug’s, where users will be able to access them for a long time to come. The best part: Picturelife users won’t need to pay to access their content.

Picturelife said in the email announcement that users should keep an eye out for an email that will be coming from SmugMug. In that email, users will be given instructions on how to access their content and either download it and archive it on their own HDDs or continue using SmugMug’s services if they see fit.

Related: Flickr’s Uploadr tool for cloud photo storage becomes Pro-only feature

“We’re honored that you’ve trusted us with your memories, and your enthusiasm towards the community,” says Picturelife in the email, “[it] was a source of constant motivation for the whole Picturelife team.”

If you go to Picturelife’s website, you are now redirected to a SmugMug mini-site, which gives a rundown of the situation, explains what’s happening to all of the information, and details what needs to be done to retrieve the content.

When it’s all too common to have startups die without much thought of the users getting left in the dark, it’s nice to see such a well-planned exit strategy.