In late 2021, I built a site that keeps track of the submissions on several furry art sites. You can see it at https://furbitron.com . For more details, see the e621 forum thread .
In December 2022, I started adding support for e6AI to Furbitron. The support is not yet complete, but it should be done later in 2023.
The below is a copy of my "2022 Year in Review" that I posted on e621 and the other sites Furbitron monitors.
This is a year-end review of how the sites Furbitron monitors fared in 2022, and how that compares to past years.
tl;dr: 2022 was the second year ever where FurAffinity did not have year-on-year growth. 2022 was the best year ever for e621. Some of the smaller sites enjoyed a "Twitter bump" in their post rates around mid-November.
tl;dr but as a table:
Submission IDs site 2022 2021 change notes Buzzly 215,000 62,000 +250% FurAffinity 5,140,000 5,358,000 -4.1% e621 684,600 546,000 +25% SoFurry 136,600 134,100 +1.9% Weasyl 109,000 109,100 -0.092% FurryNetwork 44,000 40,700 +8.1% Furiffic 7,400 shut down on June 1, 2022 e6AI 860 new for 2022
(submission ID counts are rounded)
The "Twitter bump"
As you may have heard, Twitter got a new owner in late October, 2022. Shortly after that, Twitter laid off many of its employees, began changing some of the features of their service, and reinstated some users they had previously suspended.
Because of those changes, some Twitter users expressed concern as to whether or not Twitter would remain online, and some of them stopped using Twitter.
At least some artists seem to have increased their usage of furry art sites in response. This is easiest to see on the past-year graphs for the lower-volume sites that Furbitron monitors; look for a slight increase in the post rate starting around mid-November, 2022:
This table gives a comparison of Furbitron's count of the number of submissions in the past week, from November 1 and December 1, 2022. In other words, it counts submissions from October 26-November 1 and November 25-December 1.
Submissions for week ended
site Nov 1 Dec 1 change Buzzly 398 558 +40% FurryNetwork 798 1144 +43% SoFurry 2830 2822 -0.28% Weasyl 2103 2763 +31%
It is possible that not all of this bump is attributable to changes at Twitter. FurAffinity started paywalling large image uploads on about November 26, 2022, so it's possible that some artists responded by increasing their participation on other sites.
The bump visible on the graphs starts around November 10 to 15 or so. This is far enough before the change at FurAffinity that it probably can't all be attributed to the pricing change at FA.
Furbitron added support for Buzzly in February, and some support for e6AI in December. Furbitron also stopped collecting data on Furiffic when it shut down in June. There are more details in the sections for each of those sites below.
In August, Furbitron added predictions for the dates of future submission ID milestones to the statistics page for each site. The predictions are computed daily, using a linear projection, and are based on the past year of data for each site.
Furbitron added the "experiments" section in October, for special projects based on Furbitron's data. Most of the experiments will not automatically update like the rest of Furbitron.
Buzzly had about 215,000 submissions in 2022, which was its first full year of operation. Buzzly launched in 2021 and had about 62,000 submissions that year, most of which came in November and December.
The fast growth continued in early 2022, but around February and March, there were some communications from Buzzly staff, and changes in their acceptable upload policy, that did not find favor with many of their users.
As a result, the post rate at Buzzly dropped off a lot in mid-March 2022. March 16, 2022 was the last day where Buzzly got more than 1,000 new posts a day - before that point, it averaged about 2,510 posts a day. Starting on March 21, 2022, Buzzly has never had more than 200 new posts a day - the average since then is about 69 posts a day.
In early July, Furbitron predicted that Buzzly would have about 222,000 submissions in all of 2022; the actual results were a little less than the prediction. This prediction was manually calculated, using the lower post rate since mid-March.
Furbitron's automated predictions for Buzzly will remain optimistic until around mid-March 2023 - about a month from now. Those predictions always use the past year of data, which currently includes the last month or so of the high post rate period at Buzzly.
Furbitron added tracking of Buzzly in early February 2022. Shout out to Deer-Spangle , who provided valuable insight into Buzzly's GraphQL API. This made Buzzly support happen much more quickly than it otherwise would have.
Buzzly does not use numeric submission IDs, so Furbitron cannot check the latest submissions to get the highest submission ID. Instead, Furbitron queries Buzzly's API to get the count of submissions Buzzly claims to have had since Furbitron's last query, and adds that count to a running total.
2022 was the second year ever where FurAffinity did not have year-on-year growth; it ended 2022 with about 5,140,000 submission IDs, as compared to 5,358,000 for 2021. 2022 was close behind 2021 until about mid-September, but the 2022 rate slowed down somewhat from then on.
In early July, Furbitron predicted that FurAffinity would have about 5,200,000 submission IDs in all of 2022; the actual results were a little less than the prediction.
FurAffinity reached submission ID 50,000,000 on November 27, 2022. In early July, Furbitron predicted a date of November 26 for that submission ID.
FurAffinity launched in late 2005 and had about 12,000 submission IDs that year; 2006 was the first full year of operation, with about 320,600 submission IDs. It had year-on-year growth every year from 2005 to 2020.
FurAffinity experienced a large jump in submission IDs in 2020, 2021, and 2022, compared to the previous few years - there were about 4.0 million submission IDs in 2018, 4.5 million in 2019, 5.5 million in 2020, 5.4 million in 2021, and 5.1 million in 2022. It will be interesting to see if 2023 also reaches 5+ million submissions.
Furiffic had about 7,400 submission IDs in 2022. Furiffic announced in March 2022 that they would shut down on June 1, 2022, and they did.
Furbitron stopped collecting data and updating the statistics for Furiffic at that time, but still displays the data collected and the statistics calculated up to that point.
In early July, Furbitron predicted that Furiffic would have had about 17,600 submissions in 2022, if it had stayed online all year.
Furiffic's best year ever was 2016, with about 51,600 submission IDs. It launched in spring 2013 and had about 2,100 submission IDs that year; 2014 was the first full year of operation, with about 3,900 submission IDs through late November.
(Because of the way Furiffic's history browsing worked, it was not always easy for Furbitron to find submissions that were made on or near December 31 of each year. This is why some of the lines on the year-on-year graph do not extend all the way through December.)
FurryNetwork had about 44,000 submission IDs in 2022. This was an improvement over 2021 (40,700), but a decline from 2020 (52,500).
In early July, Furbitron predicted that FurryNetwork would have about 39,300 submission IDs in all of 2022; the actual results were somewhat better than the prediction.
FurryNetwork's best year ever was 2016, with about 1,063,000 submission IDs. It launched in summer 2015 and had about 286,800 submission IDs that year. 2021 was the slowest full year for FurryNetwork.
SoFurry had about 136,600 submission IDs in 2022. This was better than 2021 (134,100), but lower than 2020 (139,300).
In early July, Furbitron predicted that SoFurry would have about 136,000 submission IDs in all of 2022; the actual results were slightly better than the prediction.
SoFurry's best year ever was 2017, with about 166,700 submission IDs. It launched in spring 2006 and had about 6,700 submission IDs that year; 2007 was the first full year of operation, with about 23,900 submission IDs.
SoFurry is developing a new version of their site, which they call SoFurry Next. A SoFurry administrator has confirmed that SoFurry Next will not use numeric submission IDs, but will have an API available.
SoFurry has not yet announced when SoFurry Next will go into production. When that happens, Furbitron's data collection for SoFurry will most likely be interrupted for at least a few days, until it is updated to handle the new site and its API.
Weasyl had about 109,000 submission IDs in 2022. This was a very tiny decline from 2021 (109,100), and a decline from 2020 (121,100).
In early July, Furbitron predicted that Weasyl would have about 104,000 submission IDs in all of 2022; the actual results were better than the prediction.
Weasyl's best year ever was 2014, with about 526,000 submission IDs. It launched in fall 2011 and had about 40 submission IDs that year; 2012 was the first full year of operation, with about 77,200 submission IDs. 2022 was the slowest full year for Weasyl since 2012.
2022 was the best year ever for e621, with about 684,600 submission IDs.
e621 also experienced a large jump in submission IDs in 2020, 2021, and 2022, compared to the previous few years - there were about 338,000 submission IDs in 2018, 350,000 in 2019, 451,000 in 2020, 546,000 in 2021, and 684,600 in 2022.
In early July, Furbitron predicted that e621 would have about 646,000 submission IDs in all of 2022; the actual results were much better than the prediction.
e621 had year-on-year growth every year from 2008 to 2022. It launched in spring 2007 and had about 14,100 submission IDs that year; 2008 was the first full year of operation, with about 10,700 submission IDs.
e6AI had about 860 submission IDs in 2022, the first year it was online.
e6AI went online around mid-October 2022. Furbitron first discovered it when someone asked about it on the e621 forums in early December. An e621 admin confirmed that e6AI is owned and operated by the same company as e621, and that some of the e621 staff helped set up e6AI.
Furbitron added monitoring of e6AI on December 8, 2022. Since it uses the same software as e621, it was easy to re-use the code developed to query e621's API.
Furbitron does not yet fully support e6AI. You can see statistics for e6AI on the All > Statistics and All except FA > Statistics pages, but the individual pages for each graph don't exist yet. Full support is planned for later in 2023.
Notes and disclaimers
The submission ID counts in this post have been rounded off. They should be accurate to within 1% or so.
The owners of the various sites can directly query their site's database, so they may publish slightly different numbers than are found here.
The numbers here come from Furbitron's monitoring of the sites listed. The historical data was mostly gathered from the sites in September 2021. e621 provides a dump of their site database, so the historical data for e621 came from that dump in September 2021. Since then, Furbitron has done "live" monitoring of each site, once a day.
Edited to fix link