A specific closing date has not yet been announced but GeoCities is no longer accepting new customers, although existing accounts will remain unchanged for now. GeoCities parent Yahoo! said more details regarding the shutdown will be coming this summer but in the meantime, the company will help customers “explore and build new relationships online in other ways.”
GeoCities was launched in 1994 as Beverly Hills Internet and began offering free home pages to its users in 1995. In December of that year the name was changed to GeoCities and by mid-1997 it had grown to become one of the most popular destinations on the internet. Yahoo! purchased GeoCities in January 1999 for over $3.5 billion, one of the more glaring excesses of the dot-com bubble.
“I think GeoCities was the first proof that you could have something really popular and still not make any money on the internet,” ZDNet Editor Rupert Goodwins told the BBC. “It was a fascinating experiment in the pre-industrial era of the internet, but after the initial exuberance on what the web could do, it turned out to be more complicated than just giving them free hosting. You need to give users tools to actually do things and make things simple, one of the reasons sites like Facebook and MySpace are so popular.”
More information about the upcoming closure of GeoCities is available at the Yahoo! Help Center.