Online photo sharing is losing two fairly big names in less than a month. Both Kodak Gallery and social photo network PicPlz are shutting down before July 4, 2012. Granted this is not a breaking story, but PicPlz has just announced that they have added a batch download tool, making retrieval of your images a whole lot easier.

If you have images on either service, keep reading past the jump to learn what to expect when these sites go dark.

Kodak Gallery

Kodak Gallery is the first of the two to go dark. It was announced last month that the service will shut down on Monday, July 2, 2012. At that time, all remaining images will be transferred to Shutterfly. If you have an account on Kodak Gallery but haven’t used it in a while, you may not have anything to be concerned with as the site regularly purged images from dormant accounts.

If you have accounts with both services, you will be able to link multiple Kodak Gallery accounts to your Shutterfly account. If you don’t have a Shutterfly account when the images are moved, one will be created for you using Kodak Gallery credentials.

It’s going to be a big move — billions of images. Shutterly hopes to keep glitches to a minimum. There’s an excellent FAQ on the Shutterfly website about the transfer of images.

Kodak Gallery is the remnant of pioneering online photo sharing service Ofoto. It was launched on the same day as Shutterfly back in 1999. Kodak’s purchase of Ofoto seemed to give it an edge over its competition because of the Kodak name and clout. It’s a little ironic to me that Kodak Gallery is being purchased at a bankruptcy discount by the company that was once viewed as such a close competitor.

For me, this is just another illustration of how far Kodak the company that invented popular photography has fallen since its heyday. This is another example of how the company that pioneered much of the photographic technology that we take for granted today — both analog and digital — lost control of the process and the market. At one pivotal point, Kodak stopped innovating and stopped inventing the really cool cameras and formats that made us “want.” Although definitely a presence in the early days of the digital photography transition, Kodak has now been surpassed by a number of more innovative companies such as Canon, Nikon, Epson, Instagram, Shutterfly, Apple and many others. In shedding off its less profitable ventures, such as Kodak Gallery, Kodak is in danger of becoming a licensing opportunity for intellectual property much like Polaroid has become. I like Kodak on an emotional level but I haven’t used any of their products in years.


PicPlz was an alternative social photo network to Instagram. It came in both iOS and Android versions before Instagram introduced their own version for ‘Droid. Many iPhoneographers preferred PicPlz because of its photographer-friendly terms of service.

PicPlz shuts down for good on Tuesday, July 3, 2012. No buyout for PicPlz. Once the site goes dark, your images are gone.

If you have images on PicPlz, they’ve made it easy to retrive all of them with one click. Instead of requiring users to download each image — a feat that would be a full-time job if you have a large feed, PicPlz have created a new batch download tool letting you easily save image archives for each account. Each archive contains all of your pics, including the original photo, the filtered photo if a filter was applied, and the associated metadata. To download your photo archive, log into your photo feed and click on the Download All Pics link. It’ll download everything as one .zip archive.

PicPlz has extended the time your images will be available for download from the web portal. Although PicPlz will shut down on July 3, 2012, and all individual photos and data will be deleted, access to your photo archive will remain available until September 3, 2012.

PicPlz had hundreds of thousands of users — by my estimates not more than 250,000. Instagram, on the other hand, currently has over 40 million users.

A little more info can be found on the PicPlz blog.

Did you use Kodak Gallery or PicPlz? Let us know what you think about the closures in the comments below.