Amazon Shutters Unpopular Alexa Site Thumbnail Service

Amazon Web Services is discontinuing the Alexa Site Thumbnail service, which has been providing developers with programmatic access to millions of thumbnail images for the home pages of web sites that were stored in Alexa’s index since July 2006. New subscriptions are no longer being accepted, and existing subscribers will only have operational access until June 12, 2009. The service hits the deadpool.

Alexa Site Thumbnail was a paying service (developers were charged $0.0002 / thumbnail URL returned i.e. $0.20 per 1,000 thumbnail URLs) but in an e-mail sent out to developers Amazon admits that it never really took off and that the company will do the smart thing and focus their resources on more popular services.

Update: commenters are pointing to Girafa and PageGlimpse as alternatives. There’s also Websnapr, bluga webthumb, scURLr, etc.

Dear Alexa Developer,

We are announcing the deprecation of the Alexa Site Thumbnail service as of March 13, 2009. After this date, the service will be closed to new subscriptions.

The Alexa Site Thumbnail service will continue to be operational for existing subscribers for 90 days, until June 12, 2009. Use of the service has been relatively low, and we have decided to focus our resources on more broadly used services in order to provide the greatest benefit to Alexa customers. Thank you for your use of the service. We regret any inconvenience to you.

Thank you,

The Alexa Web Services Team

(Hat tip to Marc Hodgins)