Picplz is a photo/image editing and sharing app/service that has been compared to Instagram and long referred to as the Android alternative (Instagram didn't support Android until recently).
At 10:17pm EST on a Friday night (last night), June 1, Picplz sent out the following cryptic tweet:
Even though I hate shortened-URL-only tweets, Picplz doesn't tweet often so I followed it to read this in the brief blog post:
On July 3, 2012, picplz will shut down permanently, and all photos and user data will be deleted. Until then, users may download their own photos by clicking on the download link next to each photo in their photo feed.
And that's it. Just about a month before it's gone. Just over 30 days to manually download each one of my photos.
My take? Oh well. It's a free service that just saw the darling of the photo manipulation and sharing space (Instagram) get bought up for an absurd amount of money. I suspect Picplz just gave up. I knew going into it that at some point I'd have to pull my stuff out (hence my regular requests on the support forum for an RSS feed of my full history).
In December 2010 I wrote about our reliance on and sense of entitlement to free services in You Get What You Pay For. This is the same thing. It's a perfect example of how you need to be prepared from the start that your favorite free service will change or go away. When it does, don't expect great (or even good or maybe any) notice or customer service.
Years ago I started using Brightkite to post images (and track my travels, share them with Twitter and Facebook, live as an online gallery, feed to mapping services, etc.). When Brightkite went away I dabbled in Gowalla and sensed its demise, so tried out Plyce, which also changed direction. I found Picplz and still dabbled in others just in case Picplz went away. Now I just need to choose my next photo posting platform and hope I can get a couple years out of that one, too.
In the meantime, I will be writing a script to wade through my 1,400+ Picplz photos and pull down all my images, descriptions and geo-data. Considering I paid nothing to use the service for over a year and a half, I think this is a fair cost to me.
- You Get What You Pay For
- Brightkite Yields to Foursquare, Gowalla, Etc.
- Brightkite Changes Direction
- Why We Check In: The Reasons People Use Location-Based Social Networks (my Brightkite use is referenced in the article)
- Brightkite Tries Another Angle
Update: Sunday, June 3, 2012
This post got a lot of traffic overnight and didn't realize why at first. It seems I scooped the regular tech news outlets and so for a while this post was the only one out there. Cool. These other posts have popped up since then:
- PicPlz shutting down permanently on July 3rd, all photos to be deleted pre-fireworks at Engadget.
- Photo-sharing service Picplz to shut down on 3 July at TheNextWeb.
- The Instagram Effect? Mobile Photo Sharing App PicPlz To Shut Down Permanently On July 3 at TechCrunch.
- Photo Sharing App Picplz to Shut Down on July 3 at Mashable.
- Photo-sharing app PicPlz calling it quits on July 3 at GigaOM.
- Instagram Competitor picplz Shutting Down July 3rd at Geekosystem.
Interestingly, less than two months ago Lifehacker ran the article Don't Bother with Instagram; Here are Five Better Alternatives for Android. Of those five, Picplz is going away and Lightbox Photos got gobbled up by Facebook.
Update: Sunday, June 3, 2012, 11:20pm
Earlier tonight Picplz tweeted out some hope for those of us with lots of photos who don't really have the time to download each photo individually:
Also, soon we will provide an export solution as a thanks to you, our loyal and devoted users. We already miss you.— picplz (@picplz) June 3, 2012
Update: June 15, 2012
Picplz notified users (via another cryptic tweet that led to a blog post) on Wednesday that it would make each user's photo archive available as a download. Users would be notified via email when their archives were ready. I received my email late last night and am in the process of downloading my 1.5GB archive now (so I have no idea the formats of anything).