It’s finally happening: Yahoo Groups is shutting down. Well, mostly—it’ll still exist, but only as a shell of its former self, as Yahoo is turning the various groups that were once active on the platform into glorified email lists. So, what do you do now?
Come the great Yahoo Groups reckoning, all public groups will become private. Users will still be able to search and join private groups, and admins will retain management rights, but all communication will only be possible via email. And, soon enough, all uploaded data will be wiped from Yahoo’s servers.
You still have a few days to access and export your groups’ data, though. We’ll show you how to do this, and we’ll also highlight some alternative platforms you may want to consider moving your group to, now that Yahoo’s platform is going, going, gone.
Export your Yahoo Groups data before December 14
Starting October 28, 2019, Yahoo is disabling all uploading- and communication-related features in Yahoo groups, including:
Message Digest and History
The ability to upload file attachments, folders, photos, and HTML links
Even after these features are disabled, you’ll still be able to access and export your data for a few more weeks, specifically until December 14 2019. After that date, all previously uploaded content will be deleted and lost forever.
To save your data, head to Yahoo’s official support page and download their export tools. The page also includes step-by-step instructions for saving your personal content for individual users, as well as extracting an entire group’s data (for admins).
Alternatively, some platforms also include tools that can automatically port over your Yahoo Data.
Try these alternatives to Yahoo Groups
There are plenty of great alternatives for groups in search of a new home. Some of them are better than Yahoo Groups ever was, but one, in particular, stands out from the rest.
The Best: Groups.io
Groups.io is not only a great landing spot for the Yahoo Groups diaspora, replete with tools that will painlessly import your Yahoo Groups data and message history. It’s one of the best message board platforms out there, period.
The process for creating your own forum is easy, though the service is generous with its features and customisation options if you want to spend a bit more time tailoring things. It also integrates with Facebook, RSS Feeds, Github, Trello, and more, which is helpful if your group is collaborating on a project.
Most importantly, everything you need to quickly set up a new group is available to you immediately. Well, almost everything—you’ll have to pay for some of the more advanced tools and add-on features, but the free package should be more than enough for most users. Honestly, we every Yahoo Group should migrate to Groups.io, but we have an in-depth explainer if you need more convincing.
If you aren’t into Groups.io and still need more suggestions, these other popular services might do the trick:
Google Groups - Google Groups is like any other forum out there; You can create and invite other users to your groups, wherein users create discussion threads, calendar events, set up polls, and pretty much everything else you’d expect to do on a message board. It’s not as robust as Groups.io, and its design and toolset are archaic in comparison, but it’s a decent alternative to Yahoo Groups (though you can also easily export your Google Groups data to Groups.io if you ever decide to jump ship).
Facebook - Facebook lets users create private and public groups. These groups have some similar features and capabilities as Yahoo Groups—like posting individual threads, making private groups, uploading and sharing files,—but they’re limited when compared to Groups.io or Google Groups. Facebook groups also look and works like your regular Facebook feed, for better or worse.
Discord - Discord is primarily a gaming-focused service, but plenty of non-gaming groups use it thanks to its high level of privacy and end-to-end encryption. Discord lets you create heavily customised private chat servers. Within a server, you can create different text or voice-based chat rooms, upload files and links, send direct messages, and there’s a whole host of member management tools and permissions you can use to fine-tune your group to meet your needs. Despite being perfectly fine for non-gaming groups, those who play games will be able to see what their friends are playing and can even send invites directly in Discord. Discord is available on Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and Linux, or on the web.
Slack - Slack might be synonymous with businesses and work collaboration, but it’s also a great tool for creating private chat channels for large groups, with a range of management options available for admins. Like Discord, Slack lets users create sub-channels, upload and share files, and supports private messaging. Slack’s feature set can also be expanded through plugins, and it integrates with tons of other apps and productivity tools like Trello, Google Drive, and Adobe’s Creative Suite. You can download Slack for free on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and it is also available as a web app.