One recent entry into the free pornography website market are Thumbnail gallery post sites.These are free websites that post links to commercial sites, providing a sampling of the commercial site in the form of thumbnail images, or in the form of Free Hosted Galleries—samplings of full-sized content provided and hosted by the commercial sites to promote their site.

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There was a rapid growth in the number of posts in the early 1990s but image quality was restricted by the size of files that could be posted.

The method was also used to disseminate pornographic images, which were usually scanned from adult magazines.

This was possible in the late '80s and early '90s through the use of anonymous FTP servers and through the Gopher protocol.

At this time the internet was mainly an academic and military network and there was not widespread use of the internet.

The most common form of adult content is a categorized list (more often it's a table) of small pictures (called "thumbnails") linked to galleries.

These sites are called a Thumbnail gallery post (TGP).

The invention of the World Wide Web spurred both commercial and non-commercial distribution of pornography.

The rise of pornography websites offering photos, video clips and streaming media including live webcam access allowed greater access to pornography.

When a user purchases a subscription to a commercial site after clicking through from a free thumbnail gallery site, the commercial site makes a payment to the owner of the free site.

There are several forms of sites delivering adult content.

One of the early Gopher/FTP sites was at tudelft and was called the Digital Archive on the 17th Floor (List of websites founded before 1995).