Once Twitter acquired Posterous, we knew that it was going to shut down at some point, as there was no way that the micro-blogging service would support a fully featured alternative platform. Once we found out the date it was shutting down, then things felt real. If you were using Posterous to post pictures, video or random thoughts, you’d have to find somewhere else to put them. That somewhere else was Posthaven, set up by Posterous co-founders Garry Tan and Brett Gibson.
The day that Posterous and Twitter announced the shutdown date, Posthaven jumped into action. At the time, Tan told me that the timing was completely serendipitous, as he had no insight as to when the decision would be made to shut down shop. Immediately, the service signed people up without even fully launching, even having problems handling the traffic at times.
Today, Posthaven is launching its public beta and is available to anyone who would like to pay $5 a month to host their Posterous data forever. Yes, Tan and Gibson have promised to keep the service running as long as it has users. The best part about Posthaven is that you can continue to use it just like you did Posterous, so it’s not merely storing your old posts. You can keep going. Its creators are also inspired by Google Reader’s recent demise and hope to set a good example for how to continue a service for the folks who really love it.
Tan and Gibson describe Posthaven as “the only safe and complete importer option available for Posterous blogs.” This makes sense because, well, Posterous’ co-founders would know the system better than anyone else.
When I spoke with Tan about the public beta launch, he told me that since launching on February 15th, Posthaven has imported 850,000 posts, including photos, videos, documents and audio files. Tan promises zero corruption for the files that you’re bringing in as well, a pretty worthwhile reason to spend the $5 a month. Some of the other Posterous importing options have suffered issues like loss of original file names and even names from commenters, which Posthaven pulls in without a problem.
The service is as simple as it gets right now, but Tan and Gibson are working on adding new features. For example, you can now create up to 10 blogs with one account, and they’re working hard to add post-by-email, commenting, multiple contributors, email notifications and a bookmarklet. These are all features that people who used Posterous will remember and will miss when it shuts down on April 30th. Tan tells me that this time around, there are new technologies that the team can build on, making the Posthaven experience even better than Posterous ever was. Tan added:
In the long term, we’re still focused on becoming the place for people to post forever — a stable platform that will operate without worries of the site, team, or mission disappearing. We’re exploring options around becoming a non-profit entity to support the goal of data preservation, which is very different from other sites which are as a rule for-profit entities. With the death of Google Reader, we think that it’s increasingly clear that certain types of social software need to be outside the auspices of entities pursuing pure profit motive at the expense of its users.
You have fewer than 40 days to decide where to move your Posterous content, and it looks like Posthaven is the best bet.
[Photo credit: Flickr]
Garry Tan is a Partner at Y Combinator, previously Designer-in-Residence. He was a cofounder at Posterous, cofounded the financial analysis platform at Palantir Technologies and was a Program Manager at Microsoft for Windows Mobile. He graduated from Stanford in Computer Systems Engineering in 2003.
Posterous emerged from Y Combinator in the summer of 2008 as an innovative company focused on making blogging simple - as simple as sending an email - and now has more than 15 million monthly users. With the launch of Posterous Spaces, the company is bringing its trademark simplicity to help people share smarter with intuitive privacy controls to share selectively across multiple platforms.