Yahoo! shutting down AltaVista and 11 other products in cleanup round 3

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 29, 2013
Internet, Yahoo

Yahoo just announced on the official company blog over at Tumblr that it will shut down twelve of its services over the course of the following days, weeks and months. It may come as a surprise to many that some services got shut down already even before the announcement went live on the blog.

The list of services and products that Yahoo is retiring is listed below in its entirety for your convenience. The shut down data is added to each product so that you know when it is going to be retired.

Altavista search engine
  1. Yahoo Axis was a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari, and a mobile browser for Apple's iPad and iPhone. Yahoo tried to reinvent search with Axis as searches displayed thumbnail previews of sites right away that you could click on to be taken to them. The main problem here was that it did not improve search nor make it really faster. (June 28, 2013)
  2. Yahoo! Browser Plus is a web browser technology that enables developers to create rich web applications with desktop capabilities. It was Yahoo!'s answer to Google Gears more or less. (June 28, 2013)
  3. Citizen Sports has been acquired by Yahoo back in 2010. It offered a range of fantasy and real-life sports products and mixed it all up with social features. (June 28, 2013)
  4. Yahoo! WebPlayer enabled webmasters to embed a media player in their websites. Plugins were made for popular blog platforms such as WordPress that improved the integration further. (June 30, 2013)
  5. FoxyTunes integrates into web browsers and media players to provide you with music playing controls and additional information about music that is currently playing in your browser. (July 1, 2013)
  6. Yahoo! RSS Alerts follows the shut down of SMS Alerts earlier this year. Yahoo recommends to use Keyword News alerts instead which can be received via email. (July 1, 2013)
  7. Yahoo! Neighbors Beta aimed to deliver a discussion board for local topics so that people from the same area could connect with each other online. (July 8, 2013)
  8. AltaVista was a popular search engine back in the pre-Google days of the Internet. (July 8,. 2013)
  9. Yahoo! Stars India enabled you to follow Indian Bollywood and Cricket stars. (July 25, 2013)
  10. Yahoo! Downloads Beta will not support third party downloads anymore. It will continue to offer Yahoo! product downloads though. (July 31, 2013)
  11. Yahoo! Local API will be shut down completely.  Products relying on it won't work anymore after the shutdown date. (September 28, 2013).
  12. Yahoo! Term Extraction API direct access will not be available anymore. Yahoo! asks developers to go through YQL instead. (September 28, 2013).

The list contains well known products like AltaVista or FoxyTunes, but also lesser known products such as Neighbors Beta or Yahoo! Stars India.

While I can understand that Yahoo! is shutting down services that are not lucrative enough or have not had the impact the company hoped they would have, it is still sad to see some products vanish from the Internet forever.

I never really understood why companies did not try to sell or give away those services instead of just shutting them down. While it won't work for APIs, it could work very well for third party services such as Citizen Sports or FoxyTunes. While Yahoo! won't make big bucks from that, it would not appear to users of those services as an evil company that is shutting down their beloved services for no good reason.

What's your take on this third round of shut downs?


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. max said on August 12, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    It so sad they are going to shut it down but they can convert it to something else beside being search engine.

  2. mohit said on July 7, 2013 at 4:19 am

    why are they shutting down? i think they were going on with profit or now a big loss for them? dont know whats going on today world

  3. sef said on July 3, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    The shut-down of the web media player is really a shame. All the competition is Flash-based and therefore useless for iPad clients. And it looked cool too. I’m already using the past tense. As I write this, the player is still online.

  4. Crodol said on June 30, 2013 at 4:19 am

    I am also surprised about Altavista and a bit sad that it will disappear but apparently it was
    resonable popular:

  5. Jojo said on June 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I would think that a major company giving away its code might cause problems. There might be links to other internal services that would have to be removed and it might give black hackers a clue to how the company writes and structures its code.

  6. smaragdus said on June 29, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    I am sorry Yahoo acquired Tumblr. I am considering deletion of my Tumblr profile. Too bad Yahoo bought and destroyed AltaVista.

  7. KRS said on June 29, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    At the dawn of Windows and the Great Post-DOS Extinction, AltaVista was the T-Rex of search engines. Google was a tiny, annoying little mammal, gnawing at its toes. AltaVista was my default, with occasional Google slumming.

    How things change!

  8. kalmly said on June 29, 2013 at 8:31 am

    I though Alta Vista was long gone. If I’d known it was still around I’d have been using it from time to time. As for the rest, I never used them.

    This is just the same old stuff. Web tools/sites/apps get shut down. Too bad for anybody who depends on them.

  9. Yoav said on June 29, 2013 at 4:55 am

    I was amazed to learn that Altavista still exists, but other than that I really never used these products.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.