Yahoo Answers will officially close down in less than a month, effectively closing the chapter on one of the internet’s most infamous question-and-answer forums.
An alert posted on the top of the Yahoo Answers home page on Tuesday linked to a FAQ section about the decision, starting with text that read: “Yahoo has made the decision to shut down Yahoo Answers. To better assist you with this transition we've compiled a list of questions that may come up for you during this process.”
Beginning on April 20th, Yahoo Answers will shut down its question submission service permanently. Users will no longer be able to submit any questions, nor will they be able to edit or comment on previous posts.
The site will then exist in a read-only mode until May 4, when the website will become entirely inaccessible. Users trying to access Yahoo Answers will be redirected to the Yahoo home page.
Those who want to save their own content from the site will have until June 30, 2021 to do so. No changes will be made to other Yahoo services, the company noted.
The platform has been operating since 2005, and its user-generated queries frequently offered entertaining — if not concerning — insights into a wide swath of the human experience.
Hours after the company announced the site’s impending closure, hundreds of questions were still appearing on the site. Some wanted to know why the site was shutting down. Others asked about current events, hoping to gain peer insight about topics like coronavirus vaccines, Washington politics, or how to apply for a home loan.
But the vast majority of questions, as was the case throughout the site’s history, remained nonsensical: “What are wooden bats made out of?” or “Who is Andrew?” were among the more recent submissions.
The “answers” on posed questions often varied as widely as the questions themselves, with many users responding with jokes, inaccuracies, falsehoods, and more. New York Times reporter Daniel Victor aptly noted the site will be, in part, “widely remembered for its — to be charitable — less-than-enriching contributions to human knowledge.”
In an emailed statement to active Yahoo users, the site’s parent company Verizon Media Group reportedly cited waning usage as one of the reasons behind its closure.
“While Yahoo Answers war (sic) once a key part of Yahoo’s products and services, it has become less popular over the years as the needs of our members have changed,” the statement, obtained by The Verge, read in part. “To that end, we have decided to shift our resources away from Yahoo Answers to focus on products that better serve our members and deliver on Yahoo’s promise of providing premium trusted content.”
The Verge was the first to report on the site’s impending closure.