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Abload’s Closure: A Glimpse into the Changing Internet Landscape

In a shocking revelation, the image-hosting platform, Abload, declared its impending closure on June 30, 2024. A staple in the online community since 2006, Abload ceased accepting new uploads in December 2023.

The team behind Abload fought for four months to keep the site running. Unfortunately, their efforts were in vain. Now, all content on the site, including legacy images and links, is set to disappear. This unfortunate event is becoming all too common as the internet evolves towards a more profit-oriented and centralized model.

A Recurring Pattern

A similar fate befell Gliphy, a platform for creating and sharing gifs. With its closure, a vast collection of gifs, representing years of internet history, vanished. This loss has affected many, including the disappearance of some of my creations.

The Disappearing Old Internet

The Shift in Model

There’s a discernible trend here. Websites from the early days of the internet, which allowed users to freely create and share content, are either transitioning to a subscription model or facing extinction, taking their entire content library with them. A glance at the list of top photo storage and sharing sites reveals that only Flickr and Photobucket have survived from that era, with the latter completely doing away with its free-use option.

The Loss of Online History

The erasure of so much online history, with limited means to preserve it, is disheartening. The Wayback Machine, a remarkable tool for internet archiving, is unable to save Abload’s images. Personal cloud storage has gained traction over the years, but as our list shows, almost none of these services replicate the functionality of older websites. They primarily offer photo storage, without the ability to share and embed images on other platforms.

Abload’s Closure: A Glimpse into the Changing Internet Landscape
Image: NewForTech.com

The Changing Internet Landscape

The internet has undergone significant changes over the decades. Regrettably, instead of preserving its past, the internet discards it, letting it fade into oblivion. This change also disrupts old websites and forums that relied heavily on image hosting sites like Abload, leading to further loss and damage to archived content.

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