Instagram alternative PicPlz is shutting down. Over the weekend, the makers of the photo-sharing mobile app sent a terse, perfunctory message to all remaining users that their accounts, as well as their pictures and other data, would be deleted on July 3.
PicPlz first emerged as the Android equivalent of Instagram, which was only available on iOS devices at the time. When Instagram launched its Android app in April 2012, the app received a million downloads in one day, reaching 5 million downloads six days later. So much for finding a niche.
Not long after that, Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion. Wrote Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a statement on his Facebook page, “This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users.”
This should have been an opportunity for PicPlz to catch new members who were tired of using Facebook. Some Instagram users were upset to share their edgy light filters with the social network, which had become so ubiquitous that parents and grandparents were using it, too. But the backlash wasn’t enough.
Board member Dalton Caldwell told TechCrunch that after PicPlz spun out of app development company Mixed Media Labs, the company had decided to bootstrap its efforts and stop raising money from investors. Without the financial backing to compete with a much larger company, the founders decided to make an exit.
“It has been a pleasure bringing picplz to our users,” read the company blog post, “but we have decided to move on to other projects and have made the tough decision to shut it down.”
The PicPlz team will instead be focusing on PinFlip, an iOS app that lets Pinterest users flip through pins like a book. The app is currently ranked fifth among paid apps in the iTunes store.