All good things must come to an end and as it stands now, 4chan will probably be gone before the end of the month. Or at least several of its boards will.
Ever since 4chan was sold by Christopher Poole (Moot) to Hiroyuki Nishimura about a year ago, the new owner has come to realize that paying several millions of dollars for an anonymous image board probably wasn’t a very good idea. 4chan is good for trolling, raiding, shit-posting and doing basically anything, it just isn’t a good business venture. No corporate brand wants to advertise their products on a website where users nonchalantly joke about rape, death and every other politically incorrect topic you can think off. Even as owner of 4chan, Moot has stated several times that 4chan was in several ways, a liability. It costs more to maintain the site than the revenue generated from it.
A few hours before the writing of this article, 4chan’s current owner, Hiroyuki, made a post on its /qa/ board, titled “Winter is coming“:
“Thank you for thinking about 4chan.
We had tried to keep 4chan as is.
But I failed. I am sincerely sorry.
Some notice there are no more middle ads and bottom ads on 4chan.
Ads don’t work well. So we reduced advertisement servers cost.
4chan can’t afford infrastructure costs, network fee, servers cost, CDN and etc, now.
4chan have three options.
1. Halve the traffic cost
-limit uploading image sizes
-use slower servers.
-close some boards
2. Much more ads
-pop-up / pop under ads
3. More 4chan pass users
Further down in the thread, he stated that there will be changes in the future and he just wanted users to be aware:
As I explained earlier, most of the boards are NSFW and therefore not advertiser friendly. Ironically, those are also the boards with the highest traffic and users. The money generated from the site isn’t enough to pay for its servers, network and several other resources a site as large as that needs to function. It also doesn’t help that a vast majority of the site’s user base are teenagers and adults with tech savvy knowledge and understanding of the internet; which means that most of them are definitely using adblock. Harsh decisions will have to be taken, or the site would have to be shut down.
- User Registration: This would basically go against everything 4chan stands for, but I wouldn’t rule it out
- Some boards will be shut down: This is also a possibility. They will either shut down the inactive boards to reduce server costs, or they will shut down the NSFW boards, so they can put up more rewarding ads.
One of the replies gaining a lot of attention called for the shutting down of /pol/:
Another called for the deletion of all the porn boards:
This guy wants more boards gone:
The replies to this suggestion are a shitstorm:
Whatever Hiro is planning, its most definitely big, which is why he wants to make the users aware, in order to reduce the fallout when it happens.
We’ll just have to wait and see.