FastPokemap is growing exponentially leaving a mark on the developer. FastPokeMap might shut down, but not for the reasons you think.
FastPokeMap continues to grow exponentially. Running a Top 500 traffic site is taking a huge toll on the developer behind this Pokemon Go tracker. Tw weeks ago, FastPokeMap had 10 million unique users per month.Yesterday the site served 15 million users. This is a staggering amount of traffic. Massive amounts of bandwidth and server resources are necessary to deliver the mapping and scanning of Pokemon around the world.
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Update 09/26/16: FastPokeMap reaches now 25 million pageviews per day. The developer said on Twitter: "Yup, everything breaking again, 2x more users than yesterday. Gonna upgrade some servers. We will probably hit 25millions pageviews today." Additionally he warns of the upcoming API change. Niantic has new security measures in place to lock 3rd party apps out again. FastPokeMap will be down when this new encryption goes live.
There'll be a forced API update soon and all trackers will be down until the new API is reversed. FPM will be down, but please sit tight!— FastPokeMap Official (@FastPokeMapCom) September 26, 2016
Dramatic growth like this bring big issues. Besides the around to clock service monitoring and hot-fixing issues, there are unforeseen problems. FastPokeMap used 500 times the allowed free quota of map data for a month in a single day. The service triggered 500,000,000 map requests yesterday.
The developer behind FastPokeMap says he snapped at the news from the mapping service. He is on the brink of a breakdown he just explained in a lengthy post on his Twitter account. It is not money or legal problems that will cause FastPokeMap to shut down, it is going to be health and mental sanity.
The anonymous developer, posting on reddit as whitelist_ip, is not giving up yet. He is taking a step back to take care of his health. He is not giving up and FastPokeMap is not closing down just yet. The performance might degrade a bit, but will stay usable. "Right now I'm just gonna focus on my life as a #1 priority than on FastPokeMap, which is NOT a business, but a HOBBY website," he ends his personal post.
As said our initial coverage of FastPokeMap back in August that whitelist_ip is the Robin Hood of real-time Pokemon Go trackers. He just wants to give Pokemon trainers a great Pokemon map.
The pressure of keeping millions of users happy can be strenuous. It is definitely not worth to sacrifice your health or family over it. He also made it clear that he is not making a dime of running FastPokeMap. It's a hobby that does not pay the bills.
FastPokeMap has been able to add hardware and bandwidth via donations. How he resolves the gigantic use of map data is unclear.
There is new open source Pokemon tracker endorsed by the FastPokeMap guy. Maybe the solution is a peer-to-peer Pokemon Go tracker that removes the need of running a massive server. The democratization of Pokemon tracking is near. Pokemon Go trackers would be less necessary, if Niantic would offer an alternative in the Pokemon Go app. The latest releases 0.39.0 and 1.9.0 today again did not bring a nearby tracker.
You can read the full letter below.