Yahoo Groups is dead.
This article was written by Sam Jones, who currently hosts the USS Mark Miller roleplay in UCIP. Sam previously wrote on this topic back in 2016.
Sorry, that’s not exactly accurate. Yahoo Groups is dying.
Per the following announcement, Yahoo is starting to roll back a lot of support to Yahoo Groups.
The writing has been on the wall for a while now. The service is almost two decades old at this point, and Groups hasn’t seen a lot of use in the past few years.
Almost everything. As of 28 October 2019, no new user content will be uploaded to the site. That includes files, images, polls, etc. And as of 14 December 2019, all existing content will be deleted.
When I first saw this announcement, I panicked, thinking they were going to delete everything, including archived emails. Cue some scrambling to download the groups I care about, and a flurry of Facebook posts to my friends. After some more reasoned examination of Yahoo’s announcement, I realized that Groups will still exist as more simpler email message boards.
Still, it is clear Yahoo Groups’s days are numbered. It’s only a matter of time before Yahoo chooses to nix the entire thing. This is merely a prologue, and I fear that Yahoo will pull the plug with no notice at some point down the line.
What should we do?
No, not really.
There are a number of things you can do. First and foremost, download any files you deem important. You can directly download your data, or use your Dashboard to request a complete archive download Be aware, the latter option will take some time, depending on how many groups you are a member of. I started this process two days ago, and am still waiting for Yahoo to tell me my archive is ready. Most likely they got a ton of requests recently (I wonder why) and are just working through the queue.
There is also this Chrome add-on that will allow you to directly download messages. I haven’t used this option myself, so I can’t say how well it works.
PG Offline remains an option as well, though it creates its own database which needs PG Offline to view. The free version is a trial that expires after 14 days, but you can always uninstall and reinstall later to reset the clock. Alternatively, you can drop the $25 USD for a license. This program has its own quirks, but I’ve used it for a few years and have gotten used to it.
What if I want to move a group elsewhere?
You have two options, at least. I’ll briefly explain the two I know best; groups.io and Google Groups.
groups.io is where I have my current active groups. It has some additional features like an integrated wiki, subgroup availability, and other features you won’t find elsewhere. It also has the ability to completely transfer all Yahoo Groups content to your new group. The limitation to that is you have to purchase a premium account for $110 USD per year to be able to transfer.
Google Groups is another option I’ve used in the past, but it’s a more limited board, basically what Yahoo Groups is going towards. Google also has a tendency to drop functions like a hot potato, so there’s no real solid future here either.
Well, if you insist, it might be an idea to consider other simming options other than email groups. Email is so 2002, after all. You can consider a Nova site, a forum, a live Discord game, or, I don’t know, even an Ongoing Worlds game.
Bottom line, Yahoo Groups is dying. Act now to preserve what you wish to save.