Yahoo has been a part of our lives for over 20 years. When thinking of the giants of the online service industries, it’s impossible not to include Yahoo among them. Take a walk through its decades of making internet history with these Yahoo facts.
- Yahoo’s revenues currently come to around $5.17 billion.
- An estimated 7000 people work for Yahoo today.
- Yahoo has more than 200 million users worldwide today.
- An estimated 26 billion emails pass through Yahoo every day.
- Alexa ranked Yahoo as the 10th most popular domain on the internet in 2019.
- Jerry Yang and David Filo launched Yahoo in 1994.
- Yahoo launched Yahoo Search in 1995.
- Yahoo’s stock rose in value by 600% from 1994 to 1996.
- In 1997 Yahoo launched Yahoo Mail after acquiring RocketMail.
- Geocities and Broadcast.com were also acquired by Yahoo in 1999 for an estimated $10 billion.
- Yahoo stocks peaked in 2000 at $118.75 a share.
- Yahoo stocks dropped to their lowest in 2001, at $8.11 a share.
- Unlimited email storage was first offered by Yahoo in 2007.
- Yahoo bought Tumblr for $1.1 billion in 2013.
- Verizon bought Yahoo for $4.83 billion in 2016.
- Yahoo shares its name with a fictional race from the novel Gulliver’s Travels.
- Yahoo was the world’s most popular news and media website in 2016.
- In 2007, Yahoo discontinued Yahoo Auctions.
- The Yahoo website comes in over 20 languages worldwide.
- Yahoo owns only 34.75% of Yahoo Japan.
Yahoo once had its own social media platform.
Called Yahoo Meme, Yahoo Latin America launched it in 2009. In terms of design and features, it had many similarities with other social media platforms like Twitter and Tumblr.
Despite aggressive advertisement, Yahoo Meme failed to gain a following, primarily because of a perception that it offered nothing new to the social media field. Another criticism was the name, in particular, the inclusion of ‘meme’. Yahoo finally discontinued Yahoo Meme in 2012.
Microsoft once tried to buy Yahoo.
This is a rather ironic example of Yahoo Facts. Microsoft tried to buy Yahoo in 2008, for an offered price of $44.6 billion. Yahoo rejected the offer, on the basis that it undervalued the company and was a disservice to their shareholders. The irony comes from when Verizon later bought the company for not even a fourth of what Microsoft offered in 2008.
Yahoo began struggling in 2008.
Problems began at the start of the decade, when the dot-com bubble burst in 2001. By 2008, Yahoo began laying off large numbers of workers, the start of a trend that continued over the following years. In 2012 alone, Yahoo cut 2000 jobs out of a workforce of an estimated 14,000. This move saved Yahoo an estimated $375 million by the end of 2012.
Yahoo suffered a major security breach in 2014.
However, Yahoo didn’t admit it until 2016, 2 years after the incident. Hackers launched a cyberattack on Yahoo, acquiring and releasing the online personal information of at least 500 million users. The US government later charged 4 men for their involvement in the cyberattack, of which 2 worked for the Russian Federal Security Service (FSS).
Verizon didn’t buy all of Yahoo in 2016.
This includes Yahoo’s former shares in the Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan. These shares merged together into a new company separate from Yahoo: Altaba.
Yahoo offers multiple online shopping services.
This includes Yahoo Shopping, Yahoo Real Estate, and the now-discontinued Yahoo Auctions. Yahoo Shopping in particular includes a price-comparison feature adapted from Kelkoo with Yahoo acquired in 2004.
Yahoo once allowed for community interaction in research and development.
Called Yahoo Next, this project allowed users to discuss scientific studies with staff and other users on a dedicated thread in Yahoo Forums. Yahoo placed Yahoo Next on redevelopment status in 2007 though and finally removed it from its list of services in 2012.
Yahoo Search BOSS was another service formerly provided by Yahoo.
BOSS was an acronym that meant Build Your Own Search Service. In exchange for a small fee, users could access Yahoo’s own online search technology and index to develop their online search systems. Yahoo discontinued it in 2016 and replaced it with Yahoo Partner Ads.
Yahoo closed Geocities in 2009.
At the time, Geocities hosted an estimated 38 million web pages. Most had mirrors and backups stored in alternate websites such as the Internet Archive, but an estimated 7 million web pages were irrecoverably lost.
This caused significant criticism for Yahoo, with one critic describing it as the end of an era. It was also another critic who pointed out the closure as a mistake, as it caused Yahoo to lose an opportunity to compete with Facebook.
Yahoo once had its own online photo sharing service.
Called Yahoo Photos, Yahoo launched it in 2000 exclusively for Yahoo users. Users had the option of uploading pictures and organizing them into albums, with many available categories for ease of management. They also had the freedom to set their pictures and albums’ privacy settings, thus controlling who could and couldn’t see them.
Yahoo Photos also offered unlimited storage space, but limited photos to the jpeg format. After Yahoo acquired Flickr in 2005, Yahoo discontinued Yahoo Photos in 2007 and merged its contents and features with Flickr.
Yahoo Go shut down in 2010.
Yahoo Go was a Java-based mobile app that allowed users to access most of Yahoo’s online features in a single package. These features included sending and receiving mail, uploading and downloading pictures, and online search among others. Launched in 2006, Yahoo discontinued support for the app in January 2010.
Yahoo bought Koprol in 2010.
Koprol was an Indonesian location-based social networking online service. After its acquisition by Yahoo, they rebranded it as Yahoo Koprol, providing location sharing services without the need for a GPS device. By 2011, 1.5 million people across Southeast Asia used Yahoo Koprol, of which an estimated 80% were in Indonesia.
However, Yahoo discontinued the service in 2012, as it failed to provide revenue for the company. Before discontinuing the service, Yahoo also reached an agreement with Koprol’s original founders to return Koprol’s trademark and domain.
Yahoo permanently closed Mail Classic in 2013.
They first made the announcement in April, and again in June. They also asked all Mail Classic users to switch to Yahoo Mail’s newest version or to switch to other email services.
Yahoo previously received requests for user information from various governments.
According to Yahoo’s official statements, Yahoo received 29,000 requests for user information from governments worldwide in the first half of 2013 alone. Of those, 12,000 came from the US government.
The US National Security Agency (NSA) was once alleged to spy on Yahoo network communications.
Now there’s a particularly chilling example of Yahoo Facts. The Washington Post made these allegations in 2013, following Edward Snowden’s leak of classified intelligence material.
According to the allegations, the interception of Yahoo communications was part of a joint program between the NSA and the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). Codenamed Muscular, the program’s exposure led to encryption updated by not just Yahoo, but also Google and Microsoft.
Yahoo is part of PRISM.
PRISM is a program by the US NSA to monitor online communications, as part of counterterrorism operations. Both the program and its participants used to be secret, but in 2013 Edward Snowden’s leak of classified intelligence material exposed both the program and its participants.
Afterward, Yahoo did not deny their participation in PRISM but argued that its participation was always in accordance with the law while respecting its users’ privacy. In particular, Yahoo does not allow the NSA direct access to user accounts and messages.
Yahoo collects its users’ search preferences.
This collection of user search preferences get used to customize advertisements to each user’s known preferences. Each user’s list of search requests would also get saved for up to 13 months – after which, it’d get deleted and replaced.
As part of Yahoo’s compliance with European regulations, Yahoo deletes the last 8 bits of users’ IP addresses every 3 months.
Yahoo once had a Do Not Track feature.
This allowed users to keep their visits on Yahoo from getting tracked. Their search preferences also weren’t recorded for customized advertisement purposes.
The feature was completely voluntary, and the user could toggle it on or off at will. Introduced in 2012, Yahoo discontinued Do Not Track in 2014.
Yahoo was the target of a lawsuit in France in 2000.
The lawsuit involved the sale of Nazi memorabilia in online auctions hosted by Yahoo. A French court ordered Yahoo to cease and desist, or face charges of up to FF100,000. Yahoo appealed in the USA that as a US company, Yahoo is not subject to French jurisdiction.
Though a US court at first ruled in Yahoo’s favor, an appeal by the French later led another US court to uphold the original ruling. Now there’s a rather shocking example of Yahoo Facts.
Yahoo once sued Facebook.
In 2012, Yahoo claimed that Facebook violated 10 of its patents. Facebook denied the allegations, before launching a series of countersuits against Yahoo. Yahoo and Facebook ultimately settled out of court. Talk about a curious example of Yahoo Facts.
One of Yahoo’s former executives resigned over his academic credentials.
This was Scott Thompson, who was CEO of Yahoo from January to May 2012. The scandal was over how Thompson supposedly had degrees in both accounting and computer science, but in reality, only had a degree in accounting. This led to his resignation in May 2012.
Yahoo cooperates with China in the so-called Great Firewall.
The Great Firewall is a metaphor for the series of laws and regulations that China enforces to monitor the country’s internet usage. Yahoo’s cooperation with the Chinese government on this issue has led to a wave of criticism, especially after the arrests of online dissidents as a result of IP addresses provided by Yahoo.
Following a lawsuit in 2017, Yahoo agreed to provide $17.3 million in support to the families of the arrested dissidents.
Yahoo banned the sale of shark fin products on all its e-commerce services in 2009.
This caused controversy in 2015 after Yahoo purchased a 40% share in Alibaba Group. At the time, the Alibaba Group faced criticism about its allowing the sale of shark fin products in its e-commerce services. Critics noted this as against the earlier ban Yahoo introduced.
Yahoo censored several emails during the Occupy Wall Street protests.
The emails had a connection with a website affiliated to the protests, leading to the emails getting censored. This led to a wave of criticism against Yahoo, and which led to an apology from the company, which explained that the censorship was a mistake and not because of deliberate action on Yahoo’s part.
Yahoo is among the number of companies listed in the Paradise Papers in 2017.
The Paradise Papers refers to a set of 13.4 million online documents about offshore investments by international companies, celebrities, and other high-profile individuals. The public response was low-profile, as all companies and persons listed in the papers had not actually violated any laws in their offshore operations.
US Senator Bernie Sanders responded more actively, arguing that the papers showed how companies and people use offshore investments to avoid having to pay their taxes.
Yahoo once offered a paid-inclusion program.
Launched in 2004, the service guaranteed subscribers listings on Yahoo search in exchange for a fee. This, however, became a target for criticism between companies that didn’t want to pay and the common people, who didn’t like how they couldn’t tell paid listings from unpaid ones.
In the face of such criticism, Yahoo modified the program in 2006, ending guaranteed listings and offering only more frequent searches of subscriber websites.
Yahoo funds adware and spyware.
One of the more surprising Yahoo facts is that Yahoo supports clients that display pop-up ads. These popup ads are enabled after users unknowingly download adware through deceptive advertisements, such as advertisements for free software to fix bugs and like.
Yahoo once offered users the option to open and run their own chat rooms.
Yahoo removed this option in 2005, following a wave of criticism from the media on the lack of oversight, and how it could provide sanctuary to online predators. The option’s inability to produce revenue from ads was also a factor in its removal.
Yahoo News retained the option until 2006 when a rise in trolling activity led to its closure as well. Users could still access the data in the chat rooms until Yahoo deleted them once and for all in 2008.
A major flaw in Yahoo SafeSearch’s feature got exposed in 2006.
A teacher discovered that Yahoo’s SafeSearch feature couldn’t keep sexually-explicit materials from showing on search results even when active. Upon learning of the issue, Yahoo apologized and immediately worked to resolve it as soon as possible.
Yahoo was once forced to withdraw a remodeling of one of their services.
This service was Yahoo Groups, which released in 2010. The new software and the changes it introduced to Yahoo Groups caused a complete backlash from Yahoo’s user base. This led Yahoo to abandon the remodeling plan for Yahoo Groups in 2011.
Yahoo Groups faced a major controversy in 2013.
The controversy involved certain groups in Yahoo Groups where Americans who had adopted foreign children looked for ways to reverse the adoption. And afterward, to either send them back to their home countries or have someone else adopt them.
Reuters exposed the practice, and how it’s done without government input or supervision. Yahoo immediately closed the offending groups down in response.
Yahoo Groups Japan closed down in 2014.
They did issue an advance notice, of course. Yahoo Groups Japan ended 10 years of service on May 28, 2014.
Yahoo Groups underwent a major change starting in 2019.
They officially announced in October 2019 that all content in Yahoo Groups will get deleted in December 2019. They later changed that to January 2020, but users could no longer post on Yahoo Groups starting October 2019.
As of January 2020, Yahoo Groups’ options became limited to membership management alone, essentially turning all groups into mailing lists.
One of Yahoo’s Terms of Service is a major point of criticism.
Specifically, Yahoo reserves the right to delete user accounts and all user content at any time, with no obligation on their part to deliver advance notice. This has led to many users losing not just their accounts, but also personal possessions such as irreplaceable pictures, with no way to recover them.
Yahoo was once accused of sexual discrimination against men.
Yahoo fired Editorial Director Scott Ard in 2015, despite having no negative marks on his record and having delivered exemplary performance in his time at Yahoo. Ard alleged that his firing was arbitrary on the part of new Editor-in-Chief Megan Lieberman, who then gave Ard’s post to another woman. Ard later filed a lawsuit against Yahoo in response to his firing.
One Yahoo employee once abused his position.
From the bizarre, to another disturbing example of Yahoo Facts. This was Yahoo engineer Reyes Daniel Ruiz, who hacked over 60,000 accounts in his time at Yahoo. These accounts included those of his friends, coworkers, and female users, in search of sexual images and videos. Ruiz was eventually arrested and made to stand trial before a federal court, where he pleaded guilty.
Yahoo’s current logo is the 6th version of said logo.
Yahoo introduced this version of the logo in 2019. The logo is the iconic “yahoo!” font written in white text on a purple background, the “y” and “!” inclined at a 22.5-degree angle.
The original version of Yahoo’s logo appeared in 1994.
Naturally, this was also when the company started operations. It included the word “Yahoo”, written in black and in Times New Roman font.
Yahoo changed its logo twice in 1995.
The first change added an exclamation point at the end of the word “Yahoo”, and also changed the font to a more elaborate one. Later in 1995, Yahoo’s new version of their logo added a y-shaped figure in a blue circle, positioned above the previous version of the logo.
The longest-lasting version of Yahoo’s logo first appeared in 1996.
This one returned to a simpler style compared to the version it replaced. Again, it was just the word “Yahoo”, with an added exclamation mark at the end. Both the word and the exclamation point had the color red and featured a small shadow behind them.
Yahoo used this version of the logo until 2009, a period of 13 years, exception for Yahoo Japan, which continues to use this version of the logo.
Yahoo changed its logo for the first time in over a decade in 2009.
The main changes involved switching violet for red and removing the shadow behind the logo. They also added the slogan “It’s Y!ou” as part of the 2009 logo redesign. This was also the first time that the shortened version of the Yahoo logo, including only the capital letter Y and an exclamation point, came into use.
Yahoo Messenger was once Yahoo’s instant messaging service.
Launched as Yahoo Pager in 1998, Yahoo renamed it as Yahoo Messenger in 2000. Originally made to provide businesses with quick and secure workplace communications, its convenience made it popular to more than just businesses.
Yahoo Messenger received multiple updates over the years, before finally getting discontinued in 2018.
Yahoo Messenger’s first major upgrade was in 2001.
This was version 5.0, which included the new IMVironments feature. IMVironments allowed audio files and flash videos to play inside the IM window, something that was a major innovation at the time.
IMVironments is notable for its involvement with the Pixar film Monsters Inc., and the Hello Kitty franchise among others.
Yahoo Messenger received another major upgrade in 2004.
Version 6.0 introduced several new features to Yahoo Messenger. These new features included games for Yahoo Messenger, and the option to add music and photos to messages. Yahoo Search also became accessible on Yahoo Messenger.
Stealth mode was also added to Yahoo Messenger, along with the feature to upload avatars online.
Yahoo renamed Yahoo Messenger in 2005.
This came with version 7.0, and it was less renaming as much Yahoo Messenger getting an add-on to its name. It became Yahoo Messenger with Voice, referencing new VoIP and voicemail among several other new features.
The introduction of those 2 major features led to media describing this upgrade to Yahoo Messenger as an attempt by Yahoo to compete with Skype.
Yahoo Messenger once had a paid version.
Yahoo introduced this version in 2003, called Yahoo Messenger Enterprise Edition. It featured superior message encryption, allowing for more secure communications, making for a very tempting package for businesses. All in exchange for a fee, of course, specifically $30 every year.
Yahoo Messenger and MSN Messenger once collaborated together.
This was back in 2005, with Yahoo and Microsoft working together to allow users of their respective messaging services to communicate with each other. The result was jointly released in 2006, Yahoo Messenger’s version 8.0.
With this collaboration, Yahoo Messenger users could now send messages directly to MSN Messenger users, and vice versa. This feature didn’t last for long, though, and was not present in version 8.1.
A custom version of Yahoo Messenger once existed for Microsoft Vista.
Yahoo first announced in January 2007, with the full version made available in December of that same year. Called Yahoo Messenger for Vista, this version of Yahoo Messenger included a unique interface and features, specifically designed for use with Vista’s design system infrastructure. Yahoo officially discontinued it in October 2008.
Yahoo Messenger also had a browser version.
Called Yahoo Messenger for the Web, it opened on a separate page in the user’s browser, allowing for messaging without needing to switch to another program. Launched in 2007, it remained a feature of Yahoo Messenger until the latter’s final discontinuation.
The year 2008 saw the release of Yahoo Messenger version 9.
Its features included the ability to post and play YouTube videos in the IM window, and further integration with other Yahoo services like Flickr. Version 9 also included the new Pingbox, allowing for the sending of anonymous messages without needing to log into Yahoo first.
Yahoo Messenger received its last Windows update in 2011.
This version featured the ability to use Facebook and Twitter on Yahoo Messenger, allowing for chat with users of either through Yahoo Messenger. It also featured integration with game designer Zynga, with Zynga games becoming playable on Yahoo Messenger.
The year 2015 saw a major redesign of Yahoo Messenger come out.
It boasted a completely new interface but was also limited to mobile devices and browsers at first. Yahoo later introduced a desktop version though, in 2016.
Yahoo replaced Yahoo Messenger with Yahoo Together in 2018.
Like its predecessor, Yahoo Together was a free messaging service available to multiple platforms. Originally called Yahoo Squirrel during development, it didn’t just replace Yahoo Messenger, it also replaced Verizon’s AOL Instant Messenger.
Unlike Yahoo Messenger, Yahoo Together’s primary target were families and regular consumers, not businesses. Ultimately, Yahoo discontinued Yahoo Together in 2019. The end of an era we could say, no mater how we look at it here at Yahoo Facts.
Yahoo Messenger suffered from vulnerability to spam messages.
This was partially due to a large number of bots taking advantage of Yahoo Messenger, with an estimated 75% of users in 2007 composed of bots. This forced Yahoo to introduce CAPTCHA systems to filter out the bots, but this proved ineffective against actual spammers.
The best Yahoo could do against them was to recommend that users delete incoming spam, before placing their senders on ignore lists.
Yahoo Messenger generally suffered from poor security.
A strange but true example of Yahoo Facts. In 2014, the Electronic Frontier Foundation gave Yahoo Messenger a score of 1 out of 7 with regard to security. They pointed out Yahoo Messenger’s lack of end-to-end encryption, users couldn’t verify their correspondents’ identities, and archived messages lacked forward secrecy.
Even worse, Yahoo Messenger’s code was not subject to independent review, and security development lacked proper documentation.
Yahoo Messenger was a target for the top-secret Optic Nerve program.
Optic Nerve was a program between the British GCHQ and US NSA aimed at building up a facial recognition database. One of the means used to achieve this was through hacking webcam streams from Yahoo Messenger and collecting still images from the hack.
It’s estimated that the Optic Nerve program managed to get 1 still image from a webcam stream every 5 minutes.
Yahoo Finance is the biggest online news website for business in the United States.
Yahoo Finance is a special feature of Yahoo, first launched in 1997 and continuing to operate to this day. It primarily provides financial news, but also offers stock data, as well as press releases and financial reports among other content.
In 2014, Yahoo Finance received recognition in American conservative media as the top site for Republicans with annual incomes of at least $100,000.
Yahoo News is among the first features offered by Yahoo.
Launched in 2006, Yahoo News has offered news stories and articles from around the world for over 20 years. Even back then, Yahoo News worked in partnership with other news agencies, such as the Associated Press, Fox News, ABC News, and even CNN. Yahoo News also includes a correspondent as part of the White House Press Corps, as far back as 2012.
Yahoo News allows readers to comment on their news stories and articles.
This feature appeared as far back as when Yahoo News first launched. However, it was discontinued between 2006 and 2010, when Yahoo News reintroduced the feature.
Yahoo News launched Yahoo Celebrity in 2007.
Originally known as omg! at the time, Yahoo News launched it discreetly, with the press release only showing on Yahoo’s corporate blog. Unilever, Pepsi, and Axiata sponsored the website, and despite its low-profile beginning, Yahoo Celebrity’s user base expanded to 4 million in less than a month and reached 8 million before the end of the year.
In 2014, omg! changed its name to Yahoo Celebrity, and is currently the second most popular website for gossip in the United States.
Yahoo Buzz was another service similar to Yahoo News.
Like Yahoo News, Yahoo Buzz offered access to news stories and articles online to users. Unlike Yahoo News though, Yahoo Buzz’s content came from individual users, who in addition to posting their own news stories and articles, could link to their or fellow users’ websites. Launched in 2000, Yahoo discontinued Yahoo Buzz in 2011.
Yahoo Search is Yahoo’s search engine.
Originally, Yahoo Search was solely for combing the contents of Yahoo’s Directory, but in 2002, Yahoo bought search engine provider Inktomi, allowing Yahoo Search to become a proper online search engine. Inktomi continued to provide that service until 2004, when Yahoo made an agreement with Google, with Yahoo Search becoming powered by Google until 2004.
It was in 2004 that Yahoo Search developed its own independent online search capability, and continued on its own until 2009. In 2009, Yahoo and Microsoft reached an agreement, wherein Yahoo Search became powered by Bing to this day.
One of Yahoo Search’s features in Searchscan.
Introduced in 2008, Searchscan is a voluntary add-on to the browser, meaning Yahoo Search can operate without it if that’s what the user wants. If active, then Searchscan automatically scans search results for viruses and other malware, before warning users of their presence.
Yahoo Search faces one major criticism.
This criticism involves discrimination of search results on Yahoo Search’s part. Specifically, they’re accused of favoring Verizon products and services, showing them first and ahead of others when listing down search results.
Yahoo Sports is another one of Yahoo’s earliest features.
Launched in 1997, Yahoo Sports remains in service even today, over 20 years after its launch. Affiliated sports include the WWE, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, and even the MLB among others. NASCAR and the FIFA World Cup are also among the sports covered and reported on by Yahoo Sports.
Yahoo Sports was also once affiliated with a radio network in the USA.
This was from 2011 to 2016, after Yahoo entered into a partnership with Sporting News Radio. As Yahoo Sports Radio, the network offered 24-hour programming on sports events worldwide, while also offering call-in shows among other features. The partnership ended in 2016, with Yahoo Sports Radio rebranding itself as SB Nation Radio.
Yahoo Sports has a special partnership with the NBC Sports Group.
The partnership sees both Yahoo Sports and the NBC Sports Group maintain control of their respective websites and editorial positions. Instead, Yahoo Sports and the NBC Sports Group manage joint coverage of sporting events both online and on the air.
This way, they’re able to integrate Yahoo Sports’ experience, access to large-scale events, and varied content, with the NBC Sports Group’s massive television and advertising network.
Yahoo Sports maintains a large number of blogs.
Each sport or sports organization covered by Yahoo Sports gets its own dedicated blog. For example, Yahoo Sports’ blog for the NFL is the Shutdown Corner. For the NBA it’s Ball Don’t Lie, for the MLB it’s Big League Stew, and for NASCAR it’s From the Marbles.
Yahoo Sports hosted the NBA’s 2016 Draft.
Not only that, but they also live-streamed it online, for the first time in broadcasting history. This drew Yahoo Sports an estimated 3.7 million viewers in only 4 hours, defeating ESPN’s viewer ratings, at only 2.4 million viewers. This also earned Yahoo Sports another live-stream for the following year, covering the NBA’s 2017 Draft.
Yahoo Answers replaced Ask Yahoo in 1996.
Both Yahoo Answers and Ask Yahoo are Q&A services that allow users to post questions online. Other users then answer these questions or even debate about them online.
All questions and answers must comply with Yahoo Answers’ community guidelines. The most noteworthy questions and answers also get featured on Yahoo Answers’ official blog. Best of all, Yahoo Answers is also a free service.
Yahoo Answers requires all posts have relevance.
As part of this, Yahoo Answers’ community guidelines explicitly ban casual chatting of any kind on the site. Categories such as politics and religion are also limited to purely opinion-based conversations.
Yahoo Answers offers users the option to stay anonymous.
Yahoo Answers’ users get their own profile pages, but these don’t have to reflect the actual identity of the user. You have the option of either revealing or hiding your Yahoo ID on your profile at your discretion.
Yahoo Answers has a point system.
These points reflect how reliable a user is on the site, with each user getting a starting number of points. Points get added for posting relevant questions and replies and get deducted when posting irrelevant questions and replies.
Points are also deducted for every violation of Yahoo Answers’ community guidelines. Users whose points drop below a certain number receive suspensions of their account on Yahoo Answers. A suspension’s duration depends on how low a user’s points have dropped.
The point system also puts other limits on users.
A user’s number of points limits how many questions and answers they can post in a single day. It also limits how many comments they can make, and how many stars they can give to noteworthy posts. Again, these limits have a daily basis and get reset from one day to the next.
Yahoo Answers features a user moderation system.
In other words, users self-regulate each other’s posts. If any user finds another user’s post offensive in some way or thinks it’s a violation of community guidelines, then they can then report it. Only users with a certain number and up of point have the right to report other users.
More than 1 user can report the same post, though moderator response depends on their total number of points. If the total number of points is too low, the moderators won’t take action, though they may deduct points from the reporters if their reports get flagged as random or baseless.
User accounts in Yahoo Answers can get deleted at any time without warning.
This is only for violations of Yahoo’s Terms of Service, though. Even if your account gets deleted, you still have the option of appealing the deletion.
Regular participants in Yahoo Answers get recognition.
These users get designated as Top Contributors and get a badge to mark them as such. The badge has the color orange and appears next to the user’s name in Yahoo Answers.
Note that becoming a Top Contributor isn’t permanent, and may be revoked if the user’s level of participation drops. Users can also become a Top Contributor in more than 1 category on Yahoo Answers, for up to a maximum of 3 categories.
There are other kinds of badges on Yahoo Answers.
Like a Top Contributor’s badge, they appear next to a user’s name and indicate a special position. This includes Yahoo staff, government officials, and special partners.
Yahoo Answers has a mascot of their own.
It’s called the Yahoo hamster, or the Yamster for short. It’s also used as the official profile picture of Yahoo Answers’ staff. In terms of appearance, it looks like a green circle with a smiley in white on the inside, with a white asterisk on top of the smiley.
Many celebrities have asked questions on Yahoo Answers in the past.
This includes then-Senator Barack Obama during his 2008 Presidential Campaign. Other famous figures who’ve asked questions on Yahoo Answers include Hillary Clinton, the late John McCain, former Vice President Al Gore, and former UN Secretary-General Shashi Tharoor. Famous scientist Stephen Hawking has also posted questions and answers on Yahoo Answers in the past.
Yahoo Mail is Yahoo’s most well-known service.
Ironically, it isn’t one of Yahoo’s original services, launched only in 1997. Ever since then though, Yahoo Mail has become what Yahoo is usually associated with. Today, the vast majority of Yahoo’s over 200 million daily users do so through Yahoo Mail.
Yahoo Mail has 2 different versions.
They’re Basic and Pro. Yahoo Mail Basic is the free version, offering email sending and receiving along with inbox and other categorization features. Basic also includes several account customization options and even features a calendar.
In contrast, Yahoo Mail Pro is a paid version, $34.99 a year, or $9.99 a year, the latter for mobile-only Yahoo Mail Pro. In exchange for this annual fee, users get ad-free service and receive priority from customer service.
Yahoo Mail is much stricter with spammers compared to other email services.
Yahoo Mail doesn’t offer users the option to simply block the email addresses spam comes from. Instead, Yahoo Mail outright deletes their account and blacklists the user behind them on all their services. This is also done without warning.
Yahoo justifies such harsh policies on the basis that their servers are in California, and lighter measures could result in a violation of state laws against spammers.
Emails on Yahoo Mail can get delayed.
This is usually because of legitimate emails getting flagged as potential spam by Yahoo Mail’s automated spam filters. The delay can last for up to several hours, as Yahoo Mail verifies the legitimacy of the emails in question, before sending them to their final destinations.
Yahoo Mail briefly banned the use of certain usernames in 2006.
Specifically, usernames which included ‘Allah’ in them, as Yahoo had flagged its use in defamatory language online. A brief investigation saw the ban lifted after only 3 days, lasting from February 20 to 26, 2006.
Yahoo Mail faced criticism in New Zealand in 2007.
This resulted after the biggest phishing attack in New Zealand’s history. At the time, Yahoo Mail was also the official email service used by New Zealand Telecom. The phishing attack forced Telecom to reset over 60,000 accounts across the country. Despite criticism and questions about Yahoo Mail’s security after the attack, Telecom continued to use Yahoo Mail as their official email service afterwards.
An Egyptian hacker found a way to bypass Yahoo Mail’s security in 2012.
He then sold this method to other hackers for $700. This allowed hackers to use cross-site scripting, stealing internet cookies, and redirecting Yahoo Mail’s users to a malicious website.
Though Yahoo Mail patched the issue soon after, security researcher Shahin Ramazeny discovered a similar flaw in their security a year later in 2013, and one which put another estimated 400 million users and their accounts in danger.
Yahoo Mail faced controversy in 2013.
This involved the deletion of all accounts not used for over a year and then allowing other people to use the usernames of the deleted accounts. This saw large numbers of users having their private emails and the like sent to other people owing to the reuse of their former usernames.
Yahoo Mail has received an unfavorable comparison to its competitors.
These competitors are Gmail and Outlook, based on a single point. That is, neither GMail nor Outlook scan the contents of their users’ email to collect data for targeted advertising. Yahoo does, thus leading to this unfavorable comparison.
Yahoo Mail has a mobile app.
It’s available on Google Play for Android and the App Store for iOS. Don’t worry, though: it’s free to download, install, and use. They’re also available in multiple languages.
Yahoo has its own Smart TV platform.
Launched in 2007, it was originally called Yahoo Connected TV but was later renamed Yahoo Smart TV. The development and release of Yahoo Smart TV were in partnership with various television manufacturers. These include Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba among others. Yahoo Smart TV remains supported and in service to this day.
Yahoo once had a video hosting platform of its own.
Launched in 2006, it was originally called Yahoo Video, before getting renamed Yahoo Screen in 2011. As Yahoo Screen, it featured a selection of original content produced specifically for Yahoo. Said original content suffered from poor reviews though, leading to Yahoo Screen’s discontinuation in 2016.
Yahoo briefly supported a successor for Yahoo Screen.
This was Yahoo View, launched in 2016, several months after Yahoo Screen’s discontinuation. Yahoo View included all free videos once hosted in Yahoo Screen, and also streamed the latest episodes of TV series produced by networks such as ABC and Fox among others. It was ultimately discontinued by Yahoo in 2019.
Yahoo has a time capsule.
This is Yahoo Time Capsule, organized in 2006 and including memorabilia and contributions as a testament to life as it was in 2006. Lasting through the whole of October 2006, an estimated 200,000 contributions went into the time capsule. An estimated 33,000 entries came from people between the ages of 20 to 29.
After the capsule’s closing, its contents were then broadcast into space by laser, before a digital record was then donated to the Smithsonian. How’s that for cool Yahoo facts?
Yahoo once had a social bookmarking website.
Called My Web, Yahoo launched it in 2005. Users of My Web could bookmark websites on My Web, and then share it with their contacts list as a whole, or with selected people in that list.
My Web also allowed users to add tags to their bookmarked sites, for categorization purposes. Yahoo discontinued My Web in 2009.
Yahoo replaced My Web with Delicious.
Delicious was another social bookmarking website, which they bought in 2005. After My Web’s discontinuation, users of My Web received recommendations from Yahoo to switch to Delicious. Yahoo ultimately sold Delicious to AVOS Systems in 2011.
Yahoo also had an online dating service in the past.
This was Yahoo Personals, a monthly paid service that allowed users to find dates among other users online. Yahoo discontinued it in 2010.
Yahoo 360° was a social networking service provided by Yahoo.
Launched in 2005, Yahoo 360° allowed users to develop their own websites, upload and share photos online, and of course to meet with friends online. They could also build and update blogs on Yahoo 360°.
Yahoo discontinued Yahoo 360° except in Vietnam in 2008, where they rebranded it as Yahoo Blog Vietnam. Even then, Yahoo also discontinued Yahoo Blog Vietnam in 2013.
Yahoo also provided online music services in the past.
This was Yahoo Music, launched in 2001 after Yahoo bought LAUNCH Media. Yahoo Music provided various musical features, such as internet radio, music video streaming, and even original video programming among others. In 2018, Yahoo merged Yahoo Music’s features with Yahoo Entertainment.
Yahoo provides information and other services about films on Yahoo Movies.
This information includes films synopses, as well as logs for past and future film releases. Trailers and clips are also available on Yahoo Movies, along with box office information. Launched in 1998, Yahoo Movies remains supported and in service to this day.