Yahoo answers to close from May, but why?

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Many of you will have heard of it, many more of you will have even posted on it or searched for answers on it, but after a long 15 years, the yahoo answers portal is about to close for good.

What are the timeline of events?

This is quite a rapid shutdown of a service which has existed for so long. Many have complained that it doesn’t give them enough time to get data or download content, so take note of these dates if you need to take action quickly.

From 20th April 2021, yahoo answers moves into a read only service, where no new content can be added, but all existing content can still be read and accessed. May 4th 2021 is the most important date, because this is when the site will go completely, and will simply be redirected to the yahoo homepage. If users miss this date, then they still have until June 30th 2021 to request access to any of their data, but this is the final chance and nothing can be done after this date.

What was yahoo answers?

Yahoo answers was a question and answer platform which at its height, became one of the ‘go to’ places for information, and having one of the largest banks of answers to the most popular and illusive questions. In more recent times, many are of the view that it has become a little less ‘professional’ and so has lost credibility, resulting in a downturn in both use and popularity.

Why has it decided to close?

The answer to this we have touched on already, but will now explore in greater detail. Yahoo’s official reason and statement for closing yahoo answers reads:

“While Yahoo Answers was 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…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.”

Yahoo answers has become something which is regarded as less serious than it once was, and for the original purpose it was rolled out for. This is seen clearly by the number of ridiculous questions and answers, conspiracy theories and plain ‘fake news’ which seems to have gained more and more traction over recent years. We mention fake news because this is the important point. We now live in an era where we have access to multiple sources of information, and it can be difficult to work out which is false and which is accurate. This makes it confusing for the user, aswell as potentially lowering the reputation of the host site. Yahoo have probably calculated that its answers platform has become something of a mockery now, and in times of fierce competition with the likes of Google and Apple for example, needs to make itself more appealing, relevant and serious. The ditching of yahoo answers is a big statement in relation to this and a declaration of intent of yahoo’s future path. In Yahoo’s statement above, you will notice reference to ‘premium trusted content’ – this is exactly what they want to achieve, and they thus believe that yahoo answers in its current existence dilutes away from this.

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