No more questions: Yahoo Answers to shut down on May 4

A filepic of Yahoo's headquarters in the US. The company announced that Yahoo Answers will no longer be accessible starting May 4. — AFP

Yahoo has announced that it will be shutting down the community-driven Yahoo Answers service on May 4.

In an FAQ, Yahoo stated that users will no longer be able to post new questions or answer questions posed by other users from May 20. Then on May 4, the website will no longer be accessible and users will be directed to the Yahoo homepage.

For users who want to download their Yahoo Answers content or data, they are urged to put in a request before June 30. They will be able to download content such as a Questions list, Answers list and any images. The content download is optional.

In an email sent to active Yahoo Answers members sighted by website The Verge, the company cited declining popularity as part of the reasoning behind shutting down the service.

“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,” the company said in the email.

Yahoo Answers was launched in 2005 as a service that allows users to ask any question and get answers from members.

The members can then vote or pick for the best answer to be highlighted as the top response. Active or helpful members will receive points for their participation.

Members can collect points to level up in Yahoo Answers which allows them to ask or answer more questions in a day. For example, a Level 1 user with less than 250 points can only ask five questions and provide 20 answers per day, while level 4 and above users with 2,500 points and above can ask 20 questions and provide up to 160 answers per day.

In 2007, Yahoo Answers was launched in Malaysia with a campaign led by local personalities such as the late director Yasmin Ahmad, activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir and model Amber Chia to post questions to users on the service. They would then select the best answers from the responses.

Marina posted a question on Yahoo Answers back in 2007. — FilepicMarina posted a question on Yahoo Answers back in 2007. — Filepic

Some users have reacted to the news by posting questions on Yahoo Answers asking others for thoughts. In a post which has garnered over 140 answers so far, there were users who blamed trolls for populating the site with misinformation.

On Twitter, users have reacted by sharing some popular or bizarre questions and responses they have seen on Yahoo Answers, including one by a person asking if Pokemons are real, “What did my dad just say to me?” and the answer to the question “Can humans walk on the sun?”.

For users who need to know where to go next for questions in the future, Yahoo suggested its own search engine and the Yahoo Covid page for specific information related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Other alternative question-answer sites include Quora, Reddit and WikiHow.

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