The end of Yahoo Groups? Not quite yet but close

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 17, 2019
Internet, Yahoo

Yahoo announced far-reaching changes to the company's Yahoo Groups service recently. The changes affect the visibility of groups, uploaded content, and upload functionality.

Yahoo Groups was one of the world's largest discussion boards in its heyday. It allowed Yahoo users to create and join groups, and post content to these groups directly using a web browser or by using email.

Established in 2001, Yahoo Groups became soon thereafter the go-to place for all kinds of people. Groups existed to discuss politics, sports, religion, history, technology, and all kinds of hobbies and other topics.

Yahoo announced the following changes affecting Yahoo Groups recently:

  • October 28, 2019 -- upload functionality is removed from the site.
  • December 14, 2019 -- "all previously posted content" will be removed permanently from the site.

Yahoo notes that Yahoo Groups will continue to exist but that all public groups will be set to private or restricted. Admins and existing members will retain access but new group members will have to request invites or be invited by administrators to join the group and participate in the discussions taking place.

The following features will be removed:

  • Files
  • Polls
  • Links
  • Photos
  • Folders
  • Calendar
  • Database
  • Attachments
  • Conversations
  • Email Updates
  • Message Digest
  • Message History

Existing users have until December to save certain data, e.g. photos and files, and to download date using the Privacy Dashboard. A Knowledgebase article on the Yahoo Help website provides links to the export tools.

Yahoo Groups users will still be able to communicate within groups via email and use search functionality on the Yahoo Groups website to find groups. Administrators will retain some administrative tools but these will be limited in comparison to the existing capabilities.

It is unclear at this point if the deletions are limited to uploaded user content, e.g. files, or if the actual discussions will be removed as well from the site. The latter would impact groups seriously going forward.

Yahoo Groups is not the only service that Yahoo, or its new parent company Verizon, dropped in recent time. Other products that were abandoned or sold by the company include Yahoo Messenger, once one of the world's most popular messaging solutions, the photo hosting service Flickr which was sold to SmugMug, or the micro-blogging service Tumblr.

Closing Words

Yahoo Groups is probably not as widely used anymore as it has been a decade ago. Part of it comes down to users moving to other services, e.g. discussion forums like Reddit.

The Internet Archive revealed yesterday that it plans to save as much data as possible before the changes take place to preserve the content.

Now You: Did you use Yahoo Groups in the past?

The end of Yahoo Groups? Not quite yet but close
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The end of Yahoo Groups? Not quite yet but close
Yahoo announced far-reaching changes to the company's Yahoo Groups service recently. The changes affect the visibility of groups, uploaded content, and upload functionality.
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  1. Reticuli said on December 7, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    Fuck Verizon

  2. Peter said on November 6, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    Martin – Sorry, but your post doesn’t seem very helpful. I use yahoo groups to arrange the weekly football games of my group of friends. It seems we will still be able to do that. The only difference is that the conversations won’t be posted on a web page any more. But what is really needed is a simple guyide to how you can CONTINUE to use Yahoo groups. Can you psot that? – Peter

  3. Elf said on October 29, 2019 at 10:38 pm

    If they remove the listserv functions as well as the content, they’ll lose all those nice marketable membership lists. They’re keeping the part that has user data and getting rid of the parts that involve managing user activity.

  4. Don said on October 23, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    Yahoo is basically changing into a listserv – send an email to the group, and the email is forwarded to all group members. There will be minimal UI features to administer the group.

    There’s no need for Yahoo to hold any content for a listserv. I think messages will be deleted along with files, photos, etc.

    Why is Yahoo/Verizon bothering to keep Groups in this form at all? This type of group communications left the email realm long ago.

  5. Steven Fleckenstein said on October 19, 2019 at 1:11 am

    I remember years ago when Yahoo absorbed another company that hosted listserv style forums (groups). It was an old school process where the only way to join the group was to send a e-mail to their server with the list name and the word “subscribe”.
    The real mess seems to be Yahoo e-mail. It has been the dumping ground for Verizon and Frontier e-mail addresses, perhaps AOL as well? I spend alot of time with seniors with decades of history with,, and Verizon e-mail accounts helping them get past pop3 and imap configuration because they do not care for the e-mail web interface.

  6. The Punisher said on October 18, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    No idea if any of this works, but might be worth a try!_Groups

  7. ThePunisher said on October 18, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    I’m surprised groups still exist, I was sure I remembered Yahoo/Verizon closing them down several years ago already.

  8. Shadess said on October 18, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    Never even heard of yahoo groups.

  9. IamSoSmartIQ400 said on October 18, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    And there you have it, no f’s given.

  10. Richard Steven Hack said on October 18, 2019 at 12:13 am

    Years ago I occasionally went into Groups to find something out, but that was about it. I preferred Usenet newsgroups.

    I’m surprised anyone is using Yahoo for anything at all these days, given their security gaffes and general incompetence at everything.

    I still have a previous client who has used Yahoo email for years and I’ve been trying to get him off Yahoo and into Gmail, but he’s evidently afraid of performing the change for fear of losing emails.

  11. Chris Laarman said on October 17, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    I have been a member of tens of Yahoo Groups for the greater part of their existence. I eventually opened a Yahoo mail account in order to prevent my other mail from seeming invisible…

    Many groups have already died, like along with the software that they were dedicated to. Today saw quite a buzz in some remaining ones, with several groups considering a move to

    I think that I won’t move with them.

  12. mikef90000 said on October 17, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    Groups usage has been discouraged by the continual meddling of their web designers, The groups page or your own groups list link was removed from the home page for no good reason.

    There are Yahoo groups with priceless history in their ‘conversation’ content, and this bean counter driven short notice shutdown is outrageous. The groups that are active and organized enough will probably move to IF they can muster up the one time migration tool fee. Unfortunately less active/small groups are in a real time bind.

    Move to FB – not on your life!

    Most other Yahoo services can die, just give us some warning Verizon/Oath a**holes.

  13. Dave Blevins said on October 17, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    Yahoo Groups has deteriorated over the last few years and that is the reason for less use. Of course, Verizon would fight tooth and nail to keep a service it paid a bundle for.

  14. John Fenderson said on October 17, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    I have never used Yahoo! Groups, but I certainly remember them. I’m actually quite surprised that they still exist!

  15. Harro Glööckler said on October 17, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    I misread it as Yahoo Answers and started to worry how will we now get the answers to important questions like “How is babby formed? How girl get pragnent?”…I’m glad that’s not the case.

    About Groups – never heard about it until now and i’m online since before Yahoo even existed.

    1. Anonymous said on October 18, 2019 at 11:20 am

      Don’t you mean – pregananant? :D

    2. ShintoPlasm said on October 17, 2019 at 10:33 pm


  16. Tom Hawack said on October 17, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    I don’t use any of Yahoo services (yippee!) and ever since it’s policy to force the user to accept cookies and tracking prior to displaying their pages (their very personal and illegal interpretation of the GDPR directives) I’ve totally blacklisted Yahoo! as well as all domains which behave the same. I do emphasize on domains forcing acceptation, not on those who simply remind, or ask, but may be accessed even when refusing, which is totally different.

    Prior to GDPR I remember that several years ago I had tried opening a Yahoo account for e-mail and was unable to achieve the registration process given my privacy/security context.

    Yahoo essentially makes business and occasionally reminds itself it is, or was, a Web actor.

  17. Thorky said on October 17, 2019 at 3:39 pm

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