Internet Archive's Wayback Machine gains new ways to fight 'digital extinction'

According to the Internet Archive, the average webpage lasts just three months before being altered or deleted. To prevent this data being lost for good, the team’s Wayback Machine saves a copy of web pages across time, allowing visitors to see how a site has looked at various points in its history.

I’ve found the Wayback Machine to be an invaluable tool on numerous occasions, but it’s now getting even better.

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The team is introducing a number of new features, and these include the ability to compare two different versions of a URL side by side, with text differences highlighted in blue and yellow. You can access this by clicking 'Changes' at the top of the Calendar View page.

Also new is the ability to archive all the embedded links and outlinks (connections to external websites) with just one click of the mouse, and users can now save web archives in a public directory of favorite items. As the Internet Archive explains, this is "essentially a personal but public bookmarking system of pages that others can follow".

Collections offers a new way of understanding why a URL has been archived, and you can now optionally view a list of each and every capture that’s been made in a day (previously you were only  a shown a sample of captures). If a site was only briefly changed, you might now be able to spot that exact moment.

You can explore the new features at the Wayback Machine now. Start by typing in a URL to view the archived versions of that site.

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