When Posterous was bought by Twitter in March, the team behind the blogging platform said it would introduce a system to allow users to export their data from the service “in the coming weeks”. Eight months later, the service finally launched a back-up tool, as announced on its blog.
Initially conceived for those users who feared that Twitter’s ownership would change the platform or see it closed down, the backup feature lets users request an email which contains a zip file of all of their posts in HTML format. This significantly helps the process of moving to another host — such as WordPress or Tumblr — although it isn’t a direct porting system which would be easiest.
Twitter’s deal to buy Posterous was an acquihire. The company explained it is “always looking for talented people who have the passion and personality to join Twitter”, with no mention of the product and its place within Twitter’s service. We initially advised Posterous users to consider other products since it looked likely that it would close, although neither company explicitly confirmed that.
Since being bought, we’ve seen signs that things aren’t as usual. Posterous has undergone numerous disruptions and outages, some of which seen users given intermittent or no access over long periods. In July, the service went down for 12 hours after losing multiple databases. In October, the site’s SSL certificate expired, only to be hurriedly replaced with an apology.
Furthermore, its once thriving blog has stopped regular postings and its Twitter account only tweets about its (regular) service issues.
Posterous founder Sachin Agarwal has become a product manager at Twitter and it’s hard to believe that these issues which have affected users — TNW’s inboxes have seen a lot of email from troubled and confused Posterous bloggers — would have occurred were the service run by a full-time, dedicated team.
We have a feeling that the timing of the introduction of the feature was down to a schedule — i.e. provide a backup before the end of 2012. It remains to be seen if that plan also includes the closure of Posterous in 2013 but, with users now able to move their data away, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the service sunsetted in the new year.
TNW has contacted Posterous and Twitter for comment on the service’s future in 2013.
Headline image via F.Schmidt / Shutterstock
Hat tip @aulia