Yahoo Answers closing on May 4, content will not be archived

Yahoo Answers ends May 4 with no plans to provide an archive of the website’s 16 years of content.

A notice at the top of every page on Yahoo Answers informs users of the impending closure. It reads:

Yahoo Answers will close on May 4, 2021 (Eastern Time) and beginning April 20, 2021 (Eastern Time), the Yahoo Answers website will be in read-only mode. No changes will be made to other Yahoo properties or services, or to your Yahoo account.

The notice directs users to a help page that offers more information about the shutdown process.

Here are some key dates to know:

  • April 20: No new content can be added to Yahoo Answers, but users can continue to read existing content.
  • May 4: Yahoo Answers will no longer be accessible. The website will redirect users to the Yahoo homepage.
  • June 30th: Last day users can request a download of their own data.

Users can only download an archive of content they have contributed to Yahoo Answers. After submitting a request, Yahoo may take up to 30 days to compile the data and make it available for download.

Yahoo doesn’t mention anything about creating an archive of all site content available after May 4, and people aren’t happy about it.

A viral tweet compares the closure of Yahoo Answers to the historic fire at the Library of Alexandria:

This Twitter user mentions that the decision to shut down Yahoo Answers stems from the service’s underperformance.

Yahoo makes no mention of it on its help page, but it did say something to this effect in an email sent directly to Yahoo Answers members.

The email states:

“While Yahoo Answers was once a key part of Yahoo’s products and services, it has become less popular over the years as our members’ needs have changed. To that end, we have decided to shift our resources from Yahoo Answers to focus on products that better serve our members and deliver on Yahoo’s promise to provide trusted, top-quality content.

Since Yahoo Answers is removed from the web in less than a month, web archivists probably don’t have time to download the large amount of content.

However, as TechCrunch’s Josh Constine points out, the quality of content we’re losing is debatable:

People are sharing their favorite Yahoo Answers content on Twitter, reminding us all of the gems we’ll no longer have access to.

Yahoo Answers has become a source of great memes over the years. Although, as other users point out, Yahoo is erasing 16 years of Internet history is a real concern.

Enjoy content on Yahoo Answers while it’s still available.

Source: Yahoo, The Verge