Nintendo has announced that the 3DS's Swapnote feature has been shutdown and will no longer be available to users. Nintendo didn't shut the service down because it didn't work or because it wasn't popular: it shut it down in the name of protecting children. The service which allows users to exchange notes, simple drawings, and photos (using either Spotpass or Streetpass) was shut down because some users have apparently used it to share "offensive" material with others.
"Nintendo has learned that some consumers, including minors, have been exchanging their friend codes on Internet bulletin boards and then using Swapnote (known as Nintendo Letter Box in other regions) to exchange offensive material," the company wrote on its website.
"Nintendo always wants to provide a positive experience for all consumers and limit the risk of any inappropriate activity or misuse of a service. We feel it is important on this occasion to take this action."
The service launched in North America in January of 2012 as a free app for the 3DS. The ability to exchange photos was introduced in April.