Many torrent sites come and go, but few are as large or enduring as Mininova. Today, the BitTorrent giant celebrates its 4th birthday, after the first public version of the site went live in January 2005. For those who work hard to fulfill their dreams, from little acorns, mighty oak trees grow.
After the unfortunate demise of the mighty Suprnova in December 2004, a large gap appeared in the BitTorrent community. Five Dutchmen – Erik, Jos, Matthijs, Niek and Rob – were inspired by the successes of Suprnova, and on January 15 2005, Mininova was born. Hosted on a basic DSL connection, it couldn’t handle the massive surge in traffic when Sloncek’s baby went down. But help was at hand.
Gottfrid, aka Anakata of The Pirate Bay offered to become Mininova’s temporary host, with the site moving again later on to be hosted by Gary Fung of isoHunt. As the site continued to develop, Mininova needed their own servers and in the years to follow its growth has been nothing short of spectacular.
From a standing start in 2005, by mid-2007 Mininova had entered the list of Top 100 most popular sites on the entire Internet with 2 million daily visitors, an amazing achievement.
Then, at the tender age of just three years old, Mininova was breaking more records. By January 2008, the site was serving 3 million daily visitors who were downloading almost 10 million .torrent files every day. In February the site introduced torrent streaming and by the end of that month had served over 4 billion .torrents.
The innovations didn’t stop there. In March last year, Mininova began its Beta testing of BitTorrent powered video streaming. The new streaming feature allowed users to watch videos instantly, streamed from .torrent files. The Open Source “Swarmplayer” was developed in collaboration with the Tribler team from the Technical University Delft and Free University Amsterdam.
In April 2008, the BitTorrent community realized just how big Mininova had become, after technical problems took down the site, resulting in massive traffic surges on other indexers. Although the site quickly returned, May was disappointing, as anti-piracy outfit BREIN flexed its muscles and threatened the site – filter, or else. However, by the end of the month it became clear that Mininova’s popularity was far from on the wane, as it served up its 5 billionth torrent.
Niek, CEO of Mininova, told Torrentfreak: “The growth rate is above every expectation. Mininova’s download numbers almost doubled this year – and the number of visitors grew almost just as hard. We are excited about the coming year and its challenges: stay tuned for some important announcements in the coming months.”
Just a few days ago, Mininova announced it had delivered its 7 billionth torrent, which left everyone wondering where it was all going to end. Today, the BitTorrent behemoth reached its 4th birthday and like someone else with a birthday today, the dream appears to have turned into reality.