Yahoo announced Thursday that it will shut down GeoCities, the Web site building business it acquired a decade ago.
“We have decided to discontinue the process of allowing new customers to sign up for GeoCities accounts as we focus on helping our customers explore and build new relationships online in other ways,” Yahoo said in a statement. “We will be closing GeoCities later this year.”
The closure is part of an effort to streamline operations at Yahoo, a plan that chief executive Carol Bartz outlined in more detail during the company’s Tuesday earnings call.
“We are increasing investment in some areas while scaling back in others,” according to a spokeswoman. “For example, after careful consideration, we recently discontinued products such as Yahoo Briefcase, Farechase, My Web, Yahoo Audio Search, RSS ads, Yahoo Pets, Yahoo Live, Kickstart and Yahoo For Teachers, and outsourced Launchcast radio to CBS. We continue to evaluate our portfolio of products and services on a regular basis, and plan to share details of further changes with our consumers and partners in the months ahead.”
GeoCities was once known for pioneering the personal portal era where anyone could build up their own personal pages. GeoCities got acquired by Yahoo! for $2.87 billion in 1999. However, the service suffered badly in the last eight years or so as blogging platforms evolved and the website-creating and hosting services gradually became cheaper. GeoCities could never cope up with rapidly changing technology and failed to update their platform. Despite that, GeoCities has been pioneers for web page building. It allowed adding picture, text, web page visit counter and guest book.
Yahoo! urges their existing GeoCities customers to move their pages to Yahoo! Web Hosting service. This web hosting service will include personal domain and other tools like email, site building, unlimited bandwidth and diskspace and more.
It’s unknown why exactly is GeoCities shutting down. Yahoo has been in news recently for lay-offs and cost cutting for re-organizing the company management. This shutdown is kind of surprising and leaves one with the same feeling when Yahoo! discontinued Yahoo! Briefcase service.