After undergoing a round of layoffs in January, Lockerz, the social commerce and photo sharing service, is shutting down its photo sharing API (a.k.a. Plixi). Plixi founder Rodney Rumford tweeted the news this morning.
Lockerz acquired Plixi (formerly Tweetphoto) in January 2011, for a price believed to be between $10 million and $15 million. That deal boosted Lockerz’s traffic from 1 million uniques per month to up to 40 million at the time, as Plixi was a popular independent photo sharing destination for Twitter users. Lockerz changed Plixi’s name to Lockerz Photos but still allowed developers to use the photo sharing API in the same way they had previously.
Now it appears that Lockerz is shutting down the API altogether. So developers will no longer be able to use Lockerz Photos as a way to include photo sharing to Twitter in their apps.
Lockerz’s chief marketing officer, Leilani Augustine, confirmed the news:
Twitter has updated their Developer Rules of the Road in conjunction with their latest API release. Under these rules, it no longer makes sense for us to offer a photo api for third party developers on Twitter. We are working with our developers to ensure users are unaffected.
It’s not a huge surprise for a number of reasons. Twitter is dominating photo sharing through its own service, and it’s likely other competitors have suffered in terms of usage and traffic. When the company had layoffs in January, the majority were in the San Diego office that Lockerz acquired through Plixi.
To date, Lockerz has raised some $43.5 million, with backers including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, DAG Ventures, Live Nation and Liberty Media.
Below is a copy of the message sent to developers (via @rumford):