It's barely been 24 hours since the launch of Kim Dotcom's new "Mega" cloud service and if the number of users that have flocked for their free 50 gigabytes of storage is any indication, it appears Dotcom has a bit of a hit on his hands.
According to The Next Web's Owen Williams, Dotcom has announced that Mega has already pushed passed one million registered users. While that's still just a drop in the bucket compared to the hundred million users that competitor Dropbox claimed in November of last year, it's a lot faster of a ramp-up. Dropbox – and we're just using this service as an example – launched in September 2008, but only hit the official "one million user" mark in April of 2009.
Mega quickly jumped up to around 100,000 users within an hour or so of the site's official launch. A few hours after that, Mega had ballooned up to approximately a quarter of a million users. Demand was great enough to knock Mega offline for a number of users attempting to either connect up or sign up for new accounts, and Mega's availability remained patchy over the weekend.
"250,000 user registrations. Server capacity on maximum load. Should get better when initial frenzy is over. Wow!!!," tweeted Dotcom on Saturday.
"If you are currently experiencing slow access to #Mega its because of the unbelievable demand. We are working on more capacity," clarified Dotcom in a tweet posted later that evening.
The official Mega press conference was held yesterday as well and, in addition to providing an action-packed recreation of last year's raid on Dotcom's residence by New Zealand police, it allowed Dotcom a change to discuss his intentions behind Mega. Which is to say, Dotcom sees the site as, "a platform for knowledge and education."
Of course, the service is also pretty big on privacy, given Dotcom's history. Mega, as a company, has no way to tell just how its users are accessing the service (or what files they're storing and sharing) as a result of the mandatory file encryption that Mega demands of its uploaders.
Additionally, the enforced encryption means that uploaders will have to list both a link to their files and an accompanying encryption key if they're looking to share their Mega-hosted data with other people.
"By using Mega you say no to those who want to know everything about you. By using Mega you say no to governments that want to spy on you. By using Mega you say yes to Internet freedom and your right to privacy," Dotcom said.
That's not to say that those stashing files on Mega – especially copyright material – are completely anonymous. As explained by TorrentFreak, the information that Mega keeps as part of the account generation process includes records of users' IP addresses, communications, use of the site itself, and other personal information submitted during the site registration.
"While this may not be a huge issue for the mainstream, privacy buffs usually prefer more anonymity. Currently dissidents and whistleblowers are not shielded from being exposed by Mega, if the authorities come knocking," TorrentFreak's Ernesto wrote.