The Instagram Effect? Mobile Photo Sharing App PicPlz To Shut Down Permanently On July 3

PicPlz, the mobile photo sharing app that is perhaps known best for being an early and direct competitor with Instagram, will shut down permanently on July 3.

PicPlz delivered the news through a short post on its company blog as well as in a brief email to users that read:

“On July 3, 2012, picplz will shut down permanently and all photos and data will be deleted.

Until then, you can log in and download your photos by clicking on the download link next to each photo in your photo feed.

Thank you for your support of picplz and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.”

Visitors to PicPlz’s website now see the following message on the homepage:

This is not a completely surprise move. Instagram began pulling ahead in the filtered mobile photo sharing space more than a year ago and in 2011, PicPlz pivoted into being part of Mixed Media Labs, a broader smartphone app development company. Mixed Media Labs went on to spin out PicPlz as its own independent entity and has since spawned new products such as mobile platform

When Instagram was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion back in April, some used it as a time to rehash the story of how PicPlz and its investors “lost” the battle for mobile photo sharing. This chatter prompted PicPlz co-founder Dalton Caldwell to take to the Internet and defend his company’s track record.

We’ve reached out for more comment on the shutdown and details on what the future may hold. We will update this post with any information we receive.


Dalton Caldwell, who remains on the board of directors at PicPlz, said in an email that the team that is operating PicPlz still has other projects in operation:

“As a board member I have been supportive of the strategic decisions they have been making.

In terms of this specific move, as has been stated before, the team that is operating picplz has been bootstrapping (ie not raising money). As part of this bootstapping effort, they recently launched a a paid iPad app for Pinterest users called pinflip:

pinflip has been doing very well and is currently the #5 paid iPad app in social networking in the US.”

This article has also been updated to clarify the relationship between Mixed Media Labs and PicPlz. Last year PicPlz was spun out of Mixed Media Labs entirely, and it has since operated as its own standalone company led by Ali Aydar.