SixApart has launched a full scale assault on Automattic’s Akismet spam service with the launch of TypePad AntiSpam.
Michael at TechCrunch notes that TypePad AntiSpam takes a multi-headed heuristic approach to detecting and blocking comment spam on blogs and in his testing was superior to Akismet. Mollom is another new service in this space (I covered it for TechCrunch in April).
The two great features about TypePad AntiSpam: it’s open source and it has a killer price: free, unlike the closed source and pay for serious use Akismet. It’s also available for WordPress blogs as well as those powered by SixApart products, immediately delivering SixApart a huge potential market.
It’s great to see competition in antispam products, and it has been long overdue, but times are changing. We are seeing a move away from local comment hosting to services such as Disqus, Sezwho and others, outsourcing spam management along with comment management to other companies. The numbers on paper may be small so far, but the trend away from local comment management is on, and even sites such as Venturebeat are now using Disqus. Notably both Sezwho and Disqus are using Akismet for spam filtering.
So where does this leave Akismet and TypePad AntiSpam? There will always be a corporate need for antispam tools, and ultimately this is where the potential profits in service provision rest. Some bloggers will remain using local commenting systems and they’ll need services like these, however expect those numbers to become a minority within 2-3 years.