To hell with it, i'm tired and today i'm feeling extremely generous. But first, an history lesson.
Things started gaining popularity mainly in comikes, then came 2ch and so futaba (2chan) as a backup only.
Around this time, our young hero moot then saw things he shouldn't in his teens 15yo on futaba and decided to grab the free code and edit it a bit, so 4chan was born as mainly an experimental project, like some of you are seeing here.
But he was smart, spreading word on animecons and gaining popularity fast amongst otaku communities, eventually things spiralled out of control and normalfags railed him from behind, "forcing" him to bail out.
Midway through here, hiroyuki, now the owner of yotsuba (4chan) was the owner of 2ch and things there already worked by dirty money, selling data from people dumb enough to buy custom tripcodes and even nanashis. Data farm.
Then he was ousted and so things got serious, many alternatives of 2ch were created like open2ch.net, 2ch.sc and many others, offering "security" by protecting users privacy.
However, there was no turning back, and even with the rise in popularity from smartphone apps centered on it, the community split too far apart to different places, something like we saw here in the west with numerous imageboards being created as alternatives for 4chan around the same time.
The popularity now is on sites we call まとめ or 速報, which are a collection of best threads or news amongst other things. Something like newsnow.net, that i can think of in the west. These sites are eating the chan population and recently it was announced a steep decline in 2ch activity, which was mainly attributed to sites like these. There are many of those focused on different topics but lots of them are affiliated in some way, so they list the same exact things, this also includes news from sites like niconico, if you know some basic to medium japanese level then go ahead. I don't even care if normalfags read about this or decided to adventure there, you know, there's a limit these people can go and they'll reach it soon enough. But if you're curious, you can go very far.
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