Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Domain Tools launches Screenshots.com

Finally a very professional and easy to use tool allows you to view screenshots of websites over the years. Domain Tools's Screenshot.com tool has current and historic screenshots of over 250 million websites(254,819,641) on the world wide web.

For example if you want to know how the website for South African Airways looked in the past, I simply type www.flysaa.com into the Screenshot.com search function and it brings me 13 screenshots including the first screenshot taken on August 11th 2004.

It was interesting discovering that in 2005, the domain DomainsAfrica.com was used to host a Pan African domain name registrar and hosting (or probably reseller) business which was marketed as "Africa' first truly online domain name purchasing experience". The business' technical partner was Praevideo and offered services such as online domain name registration,POP1 Email accounts, and webhosting. My Google search tells me Pravideo is a Hungarian pharmaceuticals company and there is no "mention" from Google of the Praevideo that is involved in the DNS industry. The internet is full of many "broken dreams" :) . So the previous owner put this domain to very good use back in 2005 while am just hosting a blog on this wonderful piece of internet real estate? Food for thought...

Coming up with this tool has been a challenge, as Domain Tools admits on their blog:
It’s a messy business aided somewhat by virtualization technologies and a carefully-engineered home built queueing architecture. Yet, it still presents significant engineering challenges and non-obvious business questions.
How do you teach computers to know whether a website has changed “significantly” since you last looked at it so you don’t store a bunch of duplicate images?

My bet: This is going to be one of the most revolutionary tools on the web; as indispensable as Domain Tools itself. Quite an innovation for us who live and breath the web. For a long time, I have been using Wayback Machine which is a pain in the ass! Get curious and check the Screenshots of some of the popular websites you know here at Screenshot.com !

Work can be republished with attribution. Email Us africadomainnames@gmail.com