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Instagram competitor PicPlz to shut down in July

Widely viewed as an alternative to Instagram, the photo-sharing service tells users it plans to close its doors and delete all images.

Instagram competitor PicPlz will cease operation in July and delete all the images and data in its possession, the photo-sharing service announced this weekend.

The photo-sharing first announced the closure Friday on its Web site in a message that began, "It has been a pleasure bringing picplz to our users, but we have decided to move on to other projects and have made the tough decision to shut it down." The Seattle-based startup sent out a follow-up e-mail to users today:

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.

The app allowed users to share mobile photos and was integrated with various social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. In the wake of Facebook's $1 billion acquisition of Instagram, PicPlz was viewed as viable alternative for users turned off by the blockbuster deal.

An investment in PicPlz by Instagram backer Andreessen Horowitz led to accusations that VC had "fumbled" its investment in Instagram. Ben Horowitz wrote in April that funding each company created an ethical conflict and led to the decision to stop funding Instagram and return valuable rights to the new Facebook acquisition.