Third-party Craigslist browsing service Listpic has been cut off from accessing Craigslist.org.
Listpic, the visual searching and browsing tool for Craigslist has been blocked from the service as of yesterday. Craigslist creator Craig Newmark posted on the Craigslist user forums to alert the community to the shutdown last night, citing bandwidth drains and Listpic's attempts to "monetize" Craigslist by piggybacking off its services and using its own advertising. Newmark claimed that so much bandwidth was being used by the third-party service that it was "making it harder for the vast bulk of people who visit our site."
Listpic provided its users with a fairly simple way to sort and browse through listings on Craiglist by displaying items as picture thumbnails as opposed to Craigslist's pages full of plain text links. The site also featured its own ads, which went against Craigslist's terms of service.
One of the most interesting tidbits that's come out of this is a vague mention of Craigslist potentially building its own visualization tool in this follow-up post by Newmark. Some of the most useful applications of Craigslist have been the ones that take the data and present it in different ways. One of the clearest examples of this are the house and apartment hunting mash-ups like MapsKreig and HousingMaps.com. Both let you browse for places to live by exploring a Google Map.
The saga continues to unfold over on this Craigslist forums thread.