Facing a steady decline in usage over the last several years, Yahoo has made the decision to shut down Yahoo Groups from on December 15.
Verizon, which bought Yahoo in 2017, announced the decision on Tuesday which marks the end of the road for one of the largest message board systems on the Web of its time.
The Yahoo Groups service was launched in 2001 and could not compete against new platforms like Reddit, Google Groups, and Facebook Groups.
On October 12, the creation of new groups will be disabled and on December 15, people will no longer be able to send and receive emails from Yahoo Groups.
The website will no longer be accessible too. Yahoo Mail will continue to function normally.
“The emails you have sent and received will remain in your email, though beginning December 15 messages will not be sent or received from your group members. If you try to email your group after December 15, your message will not be delivered and you will receive a failure notification,” the company informed.
That US wireless communications service provider Verizon bought Yahoo’s tottering internet business for a mere $4.8 billion in 2017.
The website will not be completely taken down by the December 14 deadline. All public groups will have their privacy settings altered to either private or restricted. Communicating with groups will still be possible via search and email for private groups, with admins holding access rights. Features like photos, folders, polls, calendars, email updates, and message history will be scrapped.
In its heyday, in 2010, Yahoo Groups had 115 million active users. But with users migrating to rival platforms, the website has fallen into disuse. The Yahoo home page links to Groups’ official blog, which has not been updated in five years. The individual group’s pages have been updated to include a verbal warning relating to the imminent shutdown.
Facebook was fast gaining on Yahoo, but the latter tried to prevent the attrition of users by promoting unique features. Yahoo Groups let users create smaller subgroups, thereby letting like-minded users send secure messages to each other, but hiding them from the larger group. But despite its best efforts, Yahoo lost its following to upstart social networks like Orkut and Facebook.
(With inputs from The Hindu, Business Standard and others)