Craigslist Blocks Mashup Listpic

John Musser, June 18th, 2007

In another dust-up over a mashup taking data by screen-scraping, the classifieds listings giant Craigslist has blocked access to its site from Listpic, a useful mashup that enhances Craigslist listings by adding-in associated photos. If you check our existing Listpic mashup profile you can see it has been a very popular application and is 5-star rated by our readers:


Wired news reports that in an e-mail to them Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster explained their position: “The 0.1% of our users who were accessing Craigslist images via Listpic were creating a grossly disproportionate drain on our server resources, degrading performance significantly for the 99.9% of our users accessing Craigslist in the normal fashion. Besides frequently hitting our site to harvest Craigslist user content for re-display on their site, each Listpic page load was causing our systems to serve up approx 100 full size images.”

This is somewhat reminiscent of when Craigslist blocked Oodle, an issue that came up last year in Mashups Not in Control.

You can read more in this very heated forum thread which includes comments from company founder Craig Newmark. He suggests that they may be building similar visually-oriented features, read photos, into the product soon.

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13 Responses to “Craigslist Blocks Mashup Listpic”

June 27th, 2007
at 9:20 am
Comment by: JR

This is really unfortunate for Craigslist buyers and sellers because Listpic is one of the most useful ways to shop Craigslist. The programmers at Listpic put together one of the most usable and innovative sites on the web. I really wish Craigslist had rewarded this company and paid them for the code instead of shutting them out.

July 1st, 2007
at 2:24 am
Comment by: Rivers

Checkout the beta Craislist Navigator at http://www.listnav.com! I haven’t even looked at Craig’s list since listpic went down. What a relief to find http://www.listnav.com!

July 4th, 2007
at 3:45 pm
Comment by: Roger Mason

I just tried that listnav thing but gave up after that thing just kept loading without pulling any results. While I was was looking around I found this site though: http://cl.radiux.com – seems to be in Alpha but looks really good.

July 20th, 2007
at 4:14 pm
Comment by: craigslistRocks

FYI

http://www.mycraigslist.com works for me…

September 22nd, 2007
at 6:00 pm
Comment by: Jaimee

While I can understand Craigslist’s point of view in terms of the impact on their infrastructure Listpic created by developing that incredibly useful tool, I find infuriating because Craigslist seems to be in no real big hurry to offer these kinds of helpful user experience improvements themselves.

How much money does CL pull in each year? Would it *really* present a risk to their future survival if they went and bought the infrastructure and bandwidth to support a really useful, popular feature like this?? I mean, heck, I bet if they asked members of their community to chip in a paltry $5 donation to see a feature like this get implemented they’d receive more than enough to cover the costs of upgrading their capacity and still have enough left over for a case of beer when they’re done.

September 23rd, 2007
at 3:46 pm
Comment by: John Musser

Hi Jaimee, all I can say is that if Craigslist did offer an API it would tremendously popular.

January 10th, 2008
at 1:01 pm
Comment by: Sharon Smith

Radiux=fraud! It is nothing but an advertising gimmick and it loaded spyware onto my computer!!!

October 3rd, 2008
at 1:08 am
Comment by: Craigslist Rental Property Search via the RentRent API

[...] keep in mind that Craigslist has not always looked favorably on third party mashups, such as when they blocked Listpic or when they fought [...]

August 25th, 2009
at 4:47 pm
Comment by: The Craigslist Credo: Bad Advice for Newspapers | eMediaOne

[...] craigslist has been tried more than once. Usually, it doesn’t work. First, craigslist interferes with site scraping quite effectively, when it is done on a large [...]

December 2nd, 2009
at 1:29 am
Comment by: Craigslist Blocks Yahoo Pipes After Dev Shows Craig His New Mashup

[...] course, this isn’t really anything new for Craigslist. The site has previously shut down mashups using its data many times before. But they have permitted some sites, like [...]

December 2nd, 2009
at 1:49 am
Comment by: Craigslist Blocks Yahoo Pipes After Dev Shows Craig His New Mashup - bruno trani dot info

[...] course, this isn’t really anything new for Craigslist. The site has previously shut down mashups using its data many times before. But they have permitted some sites, like [...]

December 2nd, 2009
at 2:45 am
Comment by: Craigslist Blocks Yahoo Pipes After Dev Shows Craig His New Mashup : Bloggii – The Global News Aggregator

[...] course, this isn’t really anything new for Craigslist. The site has previously shut down mashups using its data many times before. But they have permitted some sites, like [...]

March 10th, 2010
at 1:25 pm
Comment by: Jeremy

I have been using http://www.craigz.com , it also has pictures but it works well on my iphone.

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