Zing.com prepares to close down!|
(Wednesday, June 13, 2001 - 09:24 EDT)
Popular online photofinisher announces its business will soon come to an end...
Online photofinisher Zing.com, which not only provides its own extremely popular photo-sharing website to customers but also provides the backbone of a number of other sites, has announced on its http://dev.zing.com/ that it will be closing business as of June 30, 2001. A letter to members reads as follows:
"Dear Zing Members, Not detailed in this letter is what will happen to Zing's co-branded sites... The company powers photo-sharing/photofinishing sites for a number of major camera manufacturers, such as Sony's 'ImageStation' and Konica's 'Online Photo Center'. There are also co-branded sites under Zing's domain, such as Casio's. None of these sites currently have any information regarding Zing's closing, or their plans for the future... One would expect brands with the status of Sony or Nikon to seek alternatives to keep the sites online, but how exactly this could be done remains to be seen.
We regret to inform you that as of June 30, 2001, Zing.com will no longer be available. We know that you have trusted us with many of your most personal and valuable digital images and memories, and so we have done our very best to ensure that these images and memories will not be lost. We have developed several methods for you to retrieve your images from our site before June 30th:
CD PictureArchive - The CD Archive is a compact disk filled with all of the images you have stored on . Depending on how many images you have stored on our site, you can recieve multiple CDs. You can send these CDs to friends and family if you wish. To order a CD Archive, click on the CD Archive link above, or click on any of the CD Archive links you see throughout the rest of the site.
Picture Downloader - The Picture Downloader is available for all Windows/Macintosh users and allows you to safely pull all of your images off on the site and into a local directory on your computer. The Picture Downloader downloads images from selected albums into directories of the same name. That means that your downloaded images are categorized by album. You can download and install the Picture Downloader application by clicking on the Picture Downloader link above or by clicking on any of the Picture Downloader links you see throughout the rest of the site.
Save To Your Machine - You can view and download all of your uploaded pictures one at a time or, if you are using Internet Explorer 5.0, a batch at a time. Clicking the "Save To Your Machine" link takes you to a page that displays all of your original uploaded images. If your images do not all fit on one page, you may see multiple pages. From here, you save each image individually, or if you are using Internet Explorer 5.0, you can save all of the images displayed on the page.
We at Zing regret the inconvenience this will create for you. All of our employees have tried their best to create a great service and we think we have. Unfortunately we can not keep it going under the current circumstances. Thank you for using Zing.
David Ezequelle, CEO
Zing Network, Inc."
In the meantime, Zing users have a little over two weeks in which to retrieve their images from the service. Today's announcement is just the latest in a long string of collapses or restructures in the fragile online photo-sharing/photofinishing marketplace. The alternative seems to be to switch to a fee-based structure, as have PhotoPoint and PhotoLoft. SnapFish has similarly instituted a fee for film processing and raised its handling fee; Shutterfly has yet to update its fees but laid off a quarter of its staff in one go. Even extremely focused photo-sharing sites such as DigitalPhotoContest.com have instituted fees for using the service...