File sharing service Zippyshare is shutting down
Zippyshare, the popular file sharing website, has announced that it is shutting down at the end of March 2023. The cloud storage service gained notoriety among law agencies, and a cult following among pirates.
That's not surprising, as Zippyshare was a popular choice among pirates who wanted to share music and games on the cloud storage service. The website debuted in September 2006, and lasted 17 years as a completely free to use service
Why is Zippyshare shutting down?
If you visit Zippyshare.com, you will notice a banner at the top, that says the website is shutting down at the end of March, and asks users to back up their files before the lights go out. A blog post on the site's homepage sheds more details on the closure.
The article notes that the site's visitors have reduced over the years, likely due to the rise of other cloud storage services, which look better and have more features. Zippyshare's blog post highlights the use of ad blockers was a problem for the free file hosting service. As more people used ad blockers, the site tried to place more ads to compensate, but it didn't really work out.
We are not talking about small numbers here, TorrentFreak reports that Zippyshare still gets around 45 million visits every month. It's actually one of the top 1000 sites today in terms of visitors, and the service had received over 14.5 million requests over the years, for taking down URLs that contained copyrighted material. That should tell you how popular it was.
The announcement blames the cost of large servers and rising electricity prices, which has gone up 2.5 times in their region, as the reason for shutting down the service. It has become unaffordable for the owners to maintain the site. The article does not talk about any future plans, such as offering a paid subscription. It simply states that Zippyshare is shutting down. It seems strange that the owners aren't asking for donations either, considering its popularity.
Given that their main users were pirates, it's quite surprising that Zippyshare lasted this long. What I mean is, the server costs over the years would have been enormous, especially with no paid options to bear the costs. But, there's no denying the fact that it was popular because it was free. Remember when Megaupload had to shut down? That was a different scenario, but nevertheless, things like this hurt a service's users too.
The Datahoarder, and Piracy related subreddits are full of memes about it, while pointing out some important things, such as how Zippyshare was the only file sharing service that didn't have timers, or obnoxious ads, and for offering fast download speeds. They have a very good point, the service was completely free, had no download limits, allowed unlimited storage, although it only allowed to upload files up to 500 MB in size (per file). You could even upload files anonymously to it.
This raises the question, is there a decent alternative for it? Would Mediafire qualify? While it does offer some paid plans, you can use it for free with ad supported downloads, and it also has a 10GB storage limit. That's not terrible, I guess, but I suppose there are better ones out there.
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