Yahoo Pipes makes a comeback as third-party project Pipes

Martin Brinkmann
May 30, 2017
Updated • May 30, 2017

Pipes is an unofficial successor of Yahoo Pipes that tries to replicate much of what Yahoo's services offered before it was axed.

Yahoo Pipes was a useful online service that allowed you to process web data using a graphical user interface. Basically, what you did was connect data from the web, think information on a web page or RSS feed, run it through some tools, to generate custom content.

Basic examples for Pipes' usefulness were tools to translate RSS feeds automatically, combine multiple RSS feeds into one, or customize RSS feeds.

Yahoo Pipes was a sophisticated powerful tool that you could use without any programming skills on the base level.


Pipes is a new service that can best be described as a -- very -- basic copy of Yahoo Pipes. While limited in its scope right now, it is already usable to create some feed related pipes.

If you have used Yahoo Pipes in the past, you will notice immediately that Pipes' functionality is limited. The service displays five blocks right now that you can drag and drop to the interface to create or edit pipes.

A basic example would be to create a feed filter by connecting the feed block to the filter block. You simply paste a feed URL in the feed block, and enter a filter keyword in the filter block. Pipes generates a new RSS feed from this which you may subscribe to or load online.

One of the issues of Pipes right now is that it lacks documentation. It is not clear for instance what the "unique" block does. It requires input, but there is no information on that anywhere on the website. Other options that you have right now are to combine RSS feeds, or duplicate data.

Many blocks that were part of Yahoo Pipes are missing. This includes blocks like sort that process data in a way or another, load data from non RSS feed sources like CSV files, but also integration of third-party services like Yahoo Pipes' translate integration.

Another feature that is missing right now is a library of public pipes. Yahoo Pipes supported this, and you could copy those or make use of the published pipes right away when the site was online.

Closing Words

Pipes has a long way to go before it grows from being a cool concept to something that will appeal to a wider audience. The developers have plans for the service, and announced already that Pipes will receive feature updates in the near future.

Pipes may already be useful to some users, but much of what it offers is already available in RSS feed readers like QuiteRSS as well (keyword filtering).

Now You: What would you like to see implemented by Pipes?

Yahoo Pipes makes a comeback as third-party project Pipes
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Yahoo Pipes makes a comeback as third-party project Pipes
Pipes is an unofficial successor of Yahoo Pipes that tries to replicate much of what Yahoo's services offered before it was axed.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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