The new Yahoo story continues to evolve on what seems a daily basis. No longer a business fantasy land of oddball executive titles (Chief Yahoo) and “if it feels good do it” business planning, TechCrunch reports that Yahoo has quietly announced it is shuttering GeoCities by the end of this year.
Yahoo purchased the free hosting service during the last century (I’ve been wanting to write that for some reason) for $2.87 billion. That was 1999 dollars. If you follow the comment stream at TechCrunch there is a fair amount of nostalgia surrounding this end of an era. The end of an era, however, may be the start of another for Yahoo. Rather than letting the service eat up resources at a time where saving money is as important as generating it, Yahoo is making real world business decisions based on, gulp, reality. For a dose of facts and figures to make a business decision on these certainly helped the Yahoo team pull the plug.
GeoCities’ traffic has been falling over the past year. According to ComScore, GeoCities unique visitors in the U.S. fell 24 percent in March to 11.5 million unique visitors from 15.1 million in March of 2008. Back in October, 2006, it had 18.9 million uniques.
While 11.5 million unique visitors is nothing to sneeze at it’s the 25% drop in traffic year over year, coupled with so many more marketplace options to create sites and blogs (WordPress, Blogger, Ning, Webs to name just a few), that helped the Yahoo team decide if it was still time to fish or to just cut bait. Verdict? Cut bait. No nostalgia. No farewell tour. No nothing. Just an announcement on the site that no new sites accounts will be accepted and the existing service will go away by year’s end. Oh, there is the suggestion of course to move over to Yahoo’s paid hosting platform.
When this is all said and done it would be interesting to see what the cost cutting and revenue generation from this move does for the bottom line. Also, one has to think that with less drain on resources Yahoo looks leaner and meaner to potential suitors.
Well, so long GeoCities. Enjoy your twilight months. We’ll miss you?