Yahoo Pulls the Plug on GeoCities

Justin Kerr

If a web 2.0 service goes offline in the middle of the night does it make a sound? Well, if your Yahoo quietly pulling the plug on your free web hosting service, you hope not! As sad as it may be for us nostalgic types, after more than a decade of hosting free community webpages, this once innovative and powerful brand will finally come to a close later this year .

The trademark of the GeoCities service was the neighborhood system which allowed users to assign their page to a specific community of like minded websites. They were also founded during a period when only a handful of developers were publishing content for the web. Neighborhoods such as “Hollywood” and “Silicon Valley” were abandoned shortly after Yahoo took control of the company in 1999. It was purchased at the peek of the dot com bubble for $3.57 billion dollars, and like many other web properties scooped up at this time, it wasn’t worth as much as they’d hoped.

Yahoo is also known for having made several unpopular changes to the service shortly after acquisition which some users blame for its slow downward spiral. One of these changes for example was a modification to the terms of service which allowed Yahoo to lay claim to any content hosted on its service. Many of these decisions were eventually reversed, but with the rapidly falling costs of web hosting, it was only a matter of time before it folded in. Yahoo has stopped accepting new applications, and existing users are being encouraged to upgrade to one of their paid web hosting packages .

Did you ever host a website on Geocities? Share your memories in the comments below.

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