Facepalm: Yahoo has announced plans to all but kill one of the Internet’s oldest repositories of information – again. From October 28, users will no longer be able to upload content to Yahoo Groups and come December 14, all previously posted content will be permanently removed from the site.
Yahoo in a support document notes that Groups will technically continue to exist, although all groups will be made private or restricted and you’ll need to request an invite to join them. Furthermore, virtually all of the site’s features – photos, files, attachments, message history and so on – will be going away. You’ll still be able to communicate with others via e-mail, we’re told.
Groups was launched in 2001 as a hybrid Internet forum / mailing list. Use of the service has undoubtedly dwindled in recent years given the emergence of social media platforms and similar forms of sharing. Still, there’s roughly 18 years’ worth of data in the archives and it’s all going to disappear soon. Quite literally, Yahoo is destroying a piece of Internet history – a time capsule, if you will.
And it’s not the first time it has happened.
In 2009, Yahoo shut down its GeoCities web hosting platform. The long-running service allowed anyone to create a website for free with no questions asked. In the days before social media, it was one of the best ways to make your voice heard online. With its closure, an estimated 38 million webpages vanished from the Internet.
Yahoo encourages users to download photos and files from Yahoo Groups or via the Privacy Dashboard. Again, you’ll want to do so ASAP as the servers will be wiped clean in the coming months.
Masthead credit: Yahoo by dennizn