After 15 years of hosting free websites and 10 years under ownership of Yahoo!, GeoCities will be closing down this coming summer as part of Yahoo!’s belt-tightening measures, which also included the announcement a few days ago that 5pc of its workforce (700 employees) will be laid off.
A short statement on the GeoCities site simply said: “After careful consideration, Yahoo! has decided to close GeoCities later this year.
“You can continue enjoying your GeoCities service until then — we just wanted to let you know about the closure as soon as possible. We’ll share more details this summer.”
GeoCities’ star was at its zenith in 1999, just before being bought by Yahoo! for US$3.57bn. The hugely popular online community was, in its day, comparable to social-networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
The site hosted and provided free tools, but following Yahoo! acquisition and subsequent placement of ads on the site, coupled with limited data hosting plans for free account holders, it failed to turn around profits, having declared a US$8m loss for the final quarter of 1998.
With the advent of cheaper web-hosting services and free blogging platforms such as Blogger.com and WordPress in the early Noughties, the popularity of GeoCities began to decline.
Visitors to the site are advised by Yahoo! to sign up for its own web-hosting service for US$5.98 per month.
By Marie Boran
Pictured: Yahoo!’s US headquarters