Yahoo has announced that it will shut down its social media service Yahoo Groups starting December 15, marks the end of the road for one of the largest message board systems on the Web of its time.
"Yahoo Groups has seen a steady decline in usage over the last several years. Over that same period, we've witnessed unprecedented levels of engagement across our properties as customers seek out premium, trustworthy content," the company said in a statement. "While these decisions are never easy, we must sometimes make difficult decisions regarding products that no longer fit our long-term strategy as we hone our focus on other areas of the business".
Yahoo’s announcement to shut down Yahoo Groups marks as the end of an era for a company that once defined the Internet. Over the years, Yahoo’s failure to keep up with the emerging trends contributed to its downfall. While, the other major factor caused Yahoo's downfall was missed opportunities by its executives.
According to a report by India Today, in 1998, Yahoo failed to gauge its biggest competitors and turned down the USD 1 million deal. Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin had approached Yahoo, with an opportunity to buy its PageRank system for USD 1 million. As Page and Brin wanted to focus on their studies at Stanford and hence were looking for a company to sell their small startup. But, Yahoo showed no interest as it wanted users to spend more time on its own platform.
Later, Yahoo had another opportunity to acquire Google. In 2002, Yahoo's CEO at the time, Terry Semel, engaged in negotiations to acquire Google, which lasted several months. Brin and Page went to Yahoo once again, this time to raise funds worth USD 3 billion. However, then Yahoo Chief Terry Semel refused the offer as it looked to again build its own search engine to compete with Google.