My oldest Internet ID, three letters, is vintage 1996. Yahoo’s impending demise, which could be to Verizon, almost certainly will mark the end of our long relationship. We mutually will abandon one another. I’m sorry that it comes to this.

Yahoo sealed its fate when cutting the deal to outsource search to Microsoft during summer 2009. The disaster I predicted then will soon end the iconic brand, what little remains of it. Many people will blame CEO Marissa Mayer, but she was but steward of the sinking ship. Doom was a certainty after Yahoo surrendered crown jewel search. That the company limped along for another 7 years is testimony to the brand and to the services infrastructure built around it.

That said, the decision to sell off Yahoo assets is far greater surrender; one from which Mayer supposedly will profit handsomely. She deserves no financial benefit for abandoning—suiciding—what salvageable remains. For example, Flickr and Tumblr, both acquisitions, are among the many Yahoo assets that could be sustainable, even profitable. 

Additionally, as a former Googler, she should have seen mobile as Yahoo’s future and pushed product development far faster there. Yahoo’s mobile strategy is nearly as limp as Microsoft’s. Inexcusable! How strange if Yahoo gets there by being acquired by a cellular carrier.

I won’t wait around to see what lands where. In October 2015, I celebrated my 10th Flickr anniversary. Officially, it is my last. Unless Yahoo spins out the photo-sharing service as separate entity—and same goes for Tumblr—or sells to some entity committed to brand preservation and services expansion, I must move on. My Tumblr, while long inactive, remains live, and I had thought to resume blogging there before Yahoo  started seeking buyers. But Flickr I use, or did. My Pro account will remain active until it expires in another year or so, but I won’t add new photos. Perhaps I will revive and revamp my SmugMug or adopt a competing service—like 500px.

My questions for you: Do you voluntarily use Yahoo services? Meaning: By choice rather than, for example, because your cable provider outsources mail from the WWW pioneer. Like me, if a Yahoo customer, are you planning to migrate content elsewhere—or have you done so already?

If the answer is yes to the latter question, you could help other readers by disclosing where and how. For example, people with large Flickr collections could use advice on what tools will easily enable migration. Users looking to move content from Aabaco Small Business, Groups, Mail, Messenger, and Tumblr, among others, would benefit from your experience, too.

Remember: Your content is only as safe as the cloud service. Buyer bids are due for Yahoo, and its future is tenuous at best. Now is a good time to also think about your commitment, if you have any, or to other cloud services. They may be convenient, because of capabilities like auto-syncing photos from various devices, or participation in online social communities. But answer this: How safe is your content really?

Boo hoo, Yahoo!

Editor’s Note: A version of this story appears on BetaNews.

Leave a Reply