Akismet was launched 15 years ago today, when Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg announced it on his blog in a post describing what Akismet was and what it could become. Given how much the world has changed in the last decade and a half (back then spammers were pushing cheap flip phones and counterfeit Livestrong bracelets), we thought it would be fun to see whether Akismet succeeded in meeting the hopes and dreams that Matt laid out back in October 2005.
“Akismet is a new web service that stops comment and trackback spam. (Or at least tries really hard to.)”
Fact check: true! Akismet has stopped 500,000,000,000 pieces of comment and trackback spam since October 2005. That’s an average of a thousand spam per second, every second, since before Twitter existed. Plus another thousand in the time it took you to read that sentence. And this one. (And this one.)
“The service is usable immediately as a WordPress plugin and the API could also be adapted for other systems.”
Akismet is still usable as a WordPress plugin, and there are now dozens of Akismet clients for non-WordPress systems, plus countless other implementations for custom platforms. Some people say that Akismet is the most open anti-spam API on the Web. Some people are right.
“If nothing else, I hope this makes blogging more joyful for at least one person.”
According to an informal survey we just performed, Akismet has made blogging more joyful for multiple people. If you’re one of those people, put on a party hat, grab a piece of cake, and join us in wishing Akismet a very happy 15th birthday.