May 15, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
Facebook has gobbled up another photo-sharing service, only this time it’s not officially making an acquisition. Lightbox, the Instagram alternative that millions of Android users relied on while that other app took more than a year to arrive, is following the competition and joining Facebook. The difference is that Facebook isn’t acquiring the company, just the people who built it.
On the Lightbox blog, a message credited to co-founders Thai Tran and Nilesh Patel states that “the Lightbox team is joining Facebook, where we’ll have the opportunity to build amazing products for Facebook’s 500+ million mobile users.”
As a result of the Lightbox staff joining the Facebook mobile team, Lightbox will shut down on June 15. New sign-ups have already been closed and the entire system will be shutdown next month, so members have until then to download all of their Lightbox photos. Current photo and user databases will not be transferred to Facebook, so be sure to grab your content while you still can.
Lightbox was among my favorite apps from the Google I/O 2011 Sandbox, and it’s now being shut down just over a year later. I eventually stopped using the app, but this is a rather disappointing move to many. Androinica writer Ben wrote about how much he liked it, and several others reported similar adulation. That wasn’t enough to compete with Instagram, which is in the process of being acquired by Facebook, sadly.
Any guesses where Lightbox’s orphaned users will turn up?