Page last updated at 10:50 GMT, Friday, 24 April 2009 11:50 UK

Yahoo pulls the plug on GeoCities

GeoCities screen shot
Yahoo paid $3.57bn for GeoCities in 1999

Yahoo is to close its personal web hosting site GeoCities later this year.

In a statement, the firm says it will no longer be accepting new customers and will focus on helping "customers build new relationships online".

Yahoo bought GeoCities for $3.57bn at the height of the dotcom boom in 1999.

At its peak, GeoCities boasted millions of active accounts, but it has since fallen out of fashion, with users migrating to social networking sites.

Yahoo says that existing GeoCities accounts will remain live for now, although it stresses that users should start looking for alternative sites.

"You don't need to change your service today, but we encourage anyone interested in a full-featured web-hosting plan to consider upgrading to our award-winning Yahoo! Web Hosting service," the firm said in an online post.

The closure of GeoCities spells the end of Yahoo's free hosting, although other services - such as e-mail accounts - remain unaffected.

Rupert Goodwins, editor of the ZDNet website, said the closure of GeoCities was the end of an era.

"I think GeoCities was the first proof that you could have something really popular and still not make any money on the internet.

"It was a fascinating experiment in the pre-industrial era of the internet, but after the initial exuberance on what the web could do, it turned out to be more complicated than just giving them free hosting.

"You need to give users tools to actually do things and make things simple, one of the reasons sites like Facebook and MySpace are so popular," he said.

Print Sponsor

Yahoo cuts jobs after profit fall
21 Apr 09 |  Business
Yahoo makes a loss as sales slip
27 Jan 09 |  Business
Microsoft ends Yahoo buyout talks
20 Nov 08 |  Business
Profiles: Yahoo, Google and Microsoft
29 Jul 09 |  Business
Google abandons deal with Yahoo
05 Nov 08 |  Business
Chinese man 'jailed due to Yahoo'
09 Feb 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Yahoo! moves in on GeoCities
29 Jan 99 |  The Company File

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific