Yahoo Groups is changing

The folks behind Yahoo Groups sent out a notice a couple of days ago indicating that they are making changes to Yahoo Groups. They say that these changes are to make Yahoo Groups more email-oriented by removing the ability to participate in Yahoo Groups discussions on the web.  They'll be taking away the "message board" style communication functionality to drive Yahoo Groups communication back to email. 


Here's the entire announcement:
Dear Group Moderators and Members,
Thank you for your commitment to Yahoo and for helping us define the power of digital communities. Eighteen years ago, we combined the functionality of a site called eGroups.com with a precursor community platform called Yahoo Clubs to launch Yahoo Groups. Since then, you and millions of others have helped prove our hypothesis, by creating and joining more than 10 Million groups.
A lot has changed about the Internet since 2001, including the ways most people now use Yahoo Groups. Today, most Yahoo Groups activity happens in your email inbox, not on the bulletin boards where Yahoo Groups started in the pre-smartphone age. Increasingly, people want content and connections coming directly to them, and this is why we continue to invest in Yahoo Mail -- including the recent launch of a new Yahoo Mail app that is currently the highest-rated email app in the App Store and Google Play. 
So, as our users’ habits have evolved, we have begun the process of evolving our approach to help active Yahoo Groups thrive and migrate to our email platform. To help you plan for these changes, below is the schedule of how this transition will happen.
Beginning October 28, 2019:
  • Users will be able to join a Yahoo Group only through an invite from the Group Moderator or by submitting a request to join a Group, which requires approval by the Group Moderator.
  • Since we are moving Group communication from posting on message boards to email distribution, uploading and hosting of new content will also be disabled on the Yahoo Groups website.
Beginning December 14, 2019:
  • All Groups will be made private and any content that was previously uploaded via the website will be removed. We believe privacy is critical and made this decision to better align with our overall principles.
  • If you would like to keep any of the content you’ve posted or stored in the past within your Yahoo Group, please download it by December 14 by accessing this link.
As these dates get closer, we will send follow-up reminders. More information about the upcoming changes can be found here
While this evolution of Yahoo Groups is inspired by how we see the platform being used today, we know change can be difficult. Here are a few important facts as we make this transition:
  1. Yahoo Groups is not going away - We know that our users are deeply passionate about connecting around shared interests, and we are evolving Groups to better align with how you use it today.
  2. New groups can still be formed - Users can continue to connect with others around their common bonds and interests. From animal rescues to sporting and activity groups, civic organizations to local PTAs, members of our Yahoo Groups will remain connected and able to share their activities and interests. All of the content that you have shared previously on the website, can continue to be shared via email.
We know that Yahoo Groups is an important online extension of your real-life group of friends, interests and communities, and we are committed to supporting communities that rely on Yahoo Groups. Thanks for coming along with us this far. We look forward to seeing where the technology -- and you -- take us in the decades to come. 
Sincerely,
The Groups Team
It's an interesting choice. Both Google Groups and Yahoo Groups have perhaps suffered a bit of identity crisis over whether they were hosting web discussion forums or email discussion lists. While I do think it makes sense to focus on email, group discussion functionality often benefits from "web board" style functionality, for things like group discussion archiving, for example. I'll be curious to see how Yahoo Groups users feel about these changes and we'll see if this increases or decreases adoption of Yahoo Groups as a group communication tool.

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