Techcrunch has an interesting article about Imageshack in light of rumors that Sequioa is about to invest in the company. Imageshack founder Jack Levin doesn't confirm or deny these rumors, but he gave Techcrunch some interesting background information about his company.

Turns out Imageshack has been profitable pretty much from the beginning. One reason for this is that Imageshack is using Google-type server clustering, taking off the shelf hardware and combining it with software like Hadoop to build infrastructure at a fraction of the cost of what start-ups pay. From the post:

"Because of the way he designed his back-end architecture, he can serve two terabytes of images from a single $1,000, Linux server. So he spends only about $200,000 a year on capital expenditures and now has about 500 servers."

Imageshack is making most of its money with advertising, serving 10 million ads a day. One part of its business that hasn't been mentioned at all on Techcrunch is Imageshack's torrent download service that makes it possible to remotely download torrents onto their web server and then access them right through your browser and download the data with plain old http.

The service got mixed reviews from the P2P crowd, with some folks cautioning users that Imageshack has been know for its anti-piracy stance in the past and rumors that it might track P2P use. Those rumors will probably only intensify after the Techcrunch post. Levin told Techcrunch that he has plans to leverage usage data he is collecting from Imageshack. From the aticle:

"Levin is vague about how he plans to make money from this data, but it is clear he is convinced the data is pretty valuable."

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