Update: After this article was published, a representative for Yahoo owner Verizon asked for a correction regarding the date that the Yahoo Groups site will no longer accept new posts from users: from October 21 to 28. Yahoo's initial post said October 21, as archived versions of the webpage confirm, but has now been changed to read October 28. When asked about the change, the representative then claimed that the original date was an error on Verizon's part. Whatever happened here, it looks like Yahoo Groups users have another week to post to the site. This article has been updated to reflect this new information and to include comment from Verizon.
Yahoo announced on Wednesday that it is winding down its long-running Yahoo Groups site. As of October 28, users will no longer be able to post new content to the site, and on December 14 Yahoo will permanently delete all previously posted content.
"You'll have until that date to save anything you've uploaded," an announcement post reads.
Yahoo Groups, launched in 2001, is basically a cross between a platform for mailing lists and internet forums. Groups can be interacted with on the Yahoo Groups site itself, or via email. In the 18 years that it existed, numerous niche communities made a home on the platform. Now, with the site's planned obsolescence, users are looking for ways to save their Groups history.
"What's a good way to download specific Yahoo groups?" one Reddit user wrote. "I'm a member of a private one run by Cold War vets, and a lot of the information and discussion there isn't replaceable."
Yahoo's announcement says that the site will continue to exist, but all public groups will be made private and require administrator approval to join. Further, administrators will have access to some limited group settings, although most features—files, links, photos, attachments, message history, and more—will be turned off. According to Yahoo, users will still be able to interact with their Groups via email.
"We are tailoring Groups' features to match the preferences of our Groups members. Most of our members connect and share content primarily over email, so we believe this change will streamline and improve the Groups experience," Verizon spokesperson Brittany Votto said in an emailed statement. "Yahoo Groups will continue to provide a way for people to connect with their communities around shared interests, and we will continue to listen to feedback to ensure we keep our users happy."
This isn't the first time that Yahoo has turned the switch off on an important, if niche, platform and left users in the lurch. In 2009, Yahoo shut down GeoCities, taking roughly 7 million personal websites with it. At the time, digital archivists raced to save what content they could.
"These guys found the way to destroy the most massive amount of history in the shortest amount of time with absolutely no recourse," archivist Jason Scott told Time soon after it was shut down.