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Comic of Cyber Cemetery (home of the dearly and nearly departed google_announcement.png

Where incredible journeys end

Site deaths are when sites go offline, taking content and permalinks with them, and breaking the web accordingly. Site deaths are one of the big reasons why you should own your own identity and content on the web.

This is a chronology of content hosting sites that have died, removing millions (billions?) of permalinks from the web. This is specifically for content hosting sites which permitted end-user posting. Not random sites nor pure "app" sites where there's no loss of user data. If a game site goes down and takes down play history/scores, or if Gmail went away those would both represent loss of user data (though no public permalinks).

The tendency for big companies to shut down a service and delete all your things has now even been satirised by XKCD. Andy Baio talks through one example from creation, to growth, acquisition, acquihire, disillusionment, neglect, and shutdown.

Short link to this page:



This is a partial list, please add more, e.g. from other sources like:

Expected/announced site deaths. Check them upon announced shutdown date.

  • If site shutdown is confirmed, move to #Past by year.
  • If site is still up as of shutdown date, move to #Any_Day_Now

Soonest first:

  • 2018-07-13 Blogs.Harvard Blogging Platform announced in a post they will be shutting down the platform and transitioning to a new blogging platform. Any user without an official Harvard identity will be removed but given the opportunity to export their data.
    • 2019-02-28: As of today, the register page is still linked from and appears to allow anyone with a email to sign up.
  • 2019-??? TinyLetter according to
    MailChimp has plans to merge its TinyLetter product with the rest of its newsletter services — though the change won't happen this year.
    "there are no plans to sunset TinyLetter in 2018."
    ("won't happen this year", "no plans ... sunset ... in 2018" => so 2019 then)
    • 2018-01-31 Jeremy Cherfas asked about obtaining the text of past newsletters and received this response: "It's not possible to export your previous newsletters, but if you visit the archive page, you can print them to PDF from there. Alternately, you can copy and paste the text from the "sent" page in your account." Users of TinyLetter and Mailchimp have always been able to download a list of subscribers. No other data are available to users of TinyLetter, and any replies to newsletters are forwarded to the user, who should therefor have a copy of them.
    • 2011-08-31 MailChimp Acquires TinyLetter

Any Day Now

These sites are officially closed, but some functionality may still be working (e.g. logging in and viewing your activity).

  • 2017? Vine On 2016-10-27 they announced they would be discontinuing the mobile app, but keeping the website online. [1]
  • Vidigosocial [2] is being shut down due to a former collaborator who helped build the site filing a DMCA claim as part of ongoing drama involving Zippcast's previous shutdown.


The announcement of an acquihire or other exotic corporate acquisitions by silos or other companies may, but does not necessarily, indicate a potential future site-death. Exporting your personal data from these services may be a good preventative measure against potential future data loss.

  • 2019-04-17 Highly announced on Medium that they would be joining Twitter. They indicate that their service should continue though some paid portions will change or be discontinued.


Near Misses

  • 2015-07-24 frontback [5]
    • "Frontback as a service will be winding down on August 15th. On this page we provide you with an easy way to export all your photos. Your data will be available to download until September 15th, 2015. After this date, all photos and data will be permanently deleted from our servers."
    • Frontback announced on 2015-08-01 that they're staying open.
      We just signed an agreement with a partner who believes as much as we do that there’s something incredible with Frontback. This partner is fully committed to make Frontback an even better place to share your moments, we were impressed by how much they understand the platform and we will help the new team to make the transition as smooth as possible.



This is an incomplete list. Please help by adding examples from these sources (in particular when user authored content was lost):

See also (and add one-line summaries to) the history page.

In reverse chronological order:

2019 URL shortener

  • 2019-03-30: (Google's URL Shortener) will shut down completely: "If you have existing short links, you can continue to use all features of console for a period of one year, until March 30, 2019, when we will discontinue the console. You can manage all your short links and their analytics through the console during this period. After March 30, 2019, all links will continue to redirect to the intended destination."


2019-03-30: CiteULike announced on 2019-02-19 that they will be shutting down their education-related social bookmarking service.

Unfortunately, the costs associated with providing it and the fact that none of us really has any time to put into the maintenance and development of the site mean that we have to call it a day.


After 4 years, we have made the hard decision to end our ZCast journey.

ZCast will run in minimal capacity between now and the end of January 2019, and will then shut down indefinitely.

If you have any content you recorded on ZCast that you wish to download, we have enabled the download feature to all users.


Mozilla Thimble

  • 2018-12-18 Mozilla announced the pending decommission of Thimble Announcement
    • Over the years, Mozilla’s educational software has helped teach critical digital skills, from creating content to mastering HTML and CSS. But as new threats and opportunities to the open internet arise, Mozilla sometimes decommissions projects to focus on new ones.
    • We expect Thimble to be fully retired by December 2019 Mastodon

- FR

J'ai décidé d'arrêter Unixcorn, je suis fatigué et las de l'hypocrisie du truc collectif alors qu'en fait je porte tout seul le truc depuis plusieurs années. J'ai échoué à rendre ce truc réellement collectif et souhaite maintenant passer à autre chose.

- EN

I decided to stop Unixcorn, I'm tired and weary about the hypocrisy of presenting the project as a collective one. I took care of it alone for years and now I want to let go and go on.


  • 2018-10-18 Path Notice of shutdown on 2018-09-17
    • 2018-10-01: Unable to download/update the app in iTunes and Google Play
    • 2018-10-18: Termination of the Service (Unable to access to Path)
    • 2018-11-15: Path related customer service will be closed
    • Export your data before 2018-10-18. See Path#How_to_export
It is with deep regret that we announce that we will stop providing our beloved service, Path.

We started Path in 2010 as a small team of passionate and experienced designers and engineers. Over the years we have tried to lay out our mission: through technology and design we aim to be a source of happiness, meaning, and connection to our users. Along our journey we have laughed and cried with you, and learned valuable lessons. And it is now inevitable to wind down the service to prioritize our work to serve you with better products and services.

It has been a long journey and we sincerely thank each one of you for your years of love and support for Path.

2018-09-05 GNU Social instance 2018-06-17: Notice of shutdown on 2018-09-05 (archived)

abjectio @knuthollund!quitterno 17 jun Message to users of I've decided to close this site on it's 4th birthday, that is 5th September -18. I do not have the energy and capacity to host the site anymore. Please "migrate" or find a new GNU Social home. I've decided to not handover the maintenance or data to anyone else - so please do not ask to get the data to host this site further. Thank you all for using Quitter this period and for following it's users. - A. !quitterno #gnusocial #quitter


Over the last twelve months we have been carrying out a complete technical review of the infrastructure and software we use to serve Wikispaces users. As part of the review, it has become apparent that the required investment to bring the infrastructure and code in line with modern standards is very substantial. We have explored all possible options for keeping Wikispaces running but have had to conclude that it is no longer viable to continue to run the service in the long term. So, it is with no small degree of nostalgia, that we will begin to close down later this year.

Phased shutdown:

  • Classroom and Free Wikis end of service: 2018-07-31
  • Plus and Super Wikis end of service: 2018-09-30
  • Private Label Wikis end of service: 2019-01-31

Yahoo Messenger

Through the end of November, 2018, you can download your chat history to you personal computer or device.
  1. Go to the downloader request site.
  2. Sign in.
  3. Select a verification method, then enter the Account Key sent to you.
  4. Click Download.
  5. Enter the email where you want the file sent and click OK.
  6. Watch your email for the file.


  • 2018-06-30 was a social bookmarking, discovery, and advertisement engine that pushed web content recommendations to its users. It was shut down in June 2018 in favor of a new discovery platform called Mix. Apparently they emailed users prior to the shutdown/switch over to migrate usernames and data, but apparently many users 1 lost all their bookmark data. According to their shut down post, there were 40 million people who used it over the lifetime of the product.


2018-05-25: Klout shut down.

The Klout acquisition provided Lithium with valuable artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities, but Klout as a standalone service is not aligned with our long-term business strategy. We appreciate the loyal Klouters out there who stuck with us all these years – keep influencing!




  • 2018-05-01: X-marks was a cross-browser bookmark synchronization service owned by LogMeIn (parent of LastPass) that was shut down on May 1, 2018. [7]. LogMeIn provided some reasonable advance notice of the shutdown, and because of its basic fuctionality, ideally, did not result in the loss of data following its shut down.

Mozilla Webmaker

  • 2018-04-30 Mozilla's communication director notes the webmaker app and website would no longer be supported by Mozilla.
    • Mozilla is no longer supporting Webmaker for Android; we're currently devoting our resources to our advocacy, leadership, and Internet Health Report work. Mozilla is in the process of updating older properties. Thanks for writing — and let me know if I can answer further questions.</blockuote>
  • 2016-04-25 Webmaker for Android receives it last update. [8]

witches town


  • 2018-04-05: Polyvore fashion website posted on 2018-04-05 that the site would be immediately shut down following their acquisition. They set up a separate website where users can download their data and opt out of the data sharing agreement with the acquiring company. However, many users seem to be having trouble actually exporting their data.

Digg Reader


  • 2018-03-06: Bumpers and Captioned closing.



  • 2018-01-24: Lanyrd events listing site returns an error page as of 2018-01-24. Has been neglected and overrun with spam since purchase by Eventbrite.
    • Complaints regarding Lanyrd "dying on the vine" since Eventbrite purchase have been around since at least 2015-09-29 (see Dear EventBrite and Lanyrd: WTF? by Dan Applequist)
  • notist has built a pseudo-export tool that will pull your data into their system as well as email you a copy.

Huffington Post contributor platform (blogs)


  • January 2018 WikiSpace announced the site closure. WikiSpace stopped working after a technical review informed the team that the infrastructure and code in accordance with modern standards were very important.

Wikispaces was founded in 2005 and has since been used by educators, companies and individuals across the globe.



VersionEye was created in 2012 and allowed to monitor the project files of package managers on GitHub, Bitbucket or Stash. The project was stopped in October 2017 for various reasons:

  • Revenue
  • Sales
  • Support
  • Competition
  • Motivation



Gratipay announced they would close at the end of 2017

2017-12-29: switched to a static site

Microsoft Codeplex


  • 2017-12-15: AIM is shutting down.

Gimme Bar

  • 2017-12-06: Gimme Bar is shutting down.
    • Announced 2017-12-06 by email and Twitter from a developer's account [9]
    • As of 2017-12-07, it appears you cannot save new bookmarks. Logging in showed a message that my export has not been generated yet and to contact the supplied email to get it gRegor Morrill 14:38, 7 December 2017 (PST)

Popup Archive and

  • 2017-11-28 Popup Archive and, a service for transcribing audio, are shutting down. In their blog post announcement (archived), they describe how to export your data before they shut down.
    • As of 2018-03-14 the website does not resolve.


Pronoun (publishing platform)

  • November 2017 Pronoun was a New York-based company that provides free book publishing, marketing, and analytics services to authors. Pronoun was launched in 2015.

Before its purchase by Macmillan Pronoun was preceded by Vook, a digital book publisher that combined text, video and links to the Internet and social media in unique applications available online and on mobile phones. Vook was founded by Bradley Inman, a serial Internet entrepreneur, and announced in April 2009. In November 2017, Macmillan announced the closing of Pronoun, with no new authors or books being accepted. Legacy writers were told they could continue their account activities with already submitted materials but that Macmillan expects to terminate distribution around mid-January 2018.(More).


  • 2014-09-25 Twitpic announced it would be shut down, but on 2014-09-18 TwitPic stated it was acquired and would not be shut down.
    • "We're happy to announce we've been acquired and Twitpic will live on! We will post more details as we can disclose them"[10]
    • Original reason for the shutdown announcement:
      A few weeks ago Twitter contacted our legal demanding that we abandon our trademark application or risk losing access to their API. [..] Unfortunately we do not have the resources to fend off a large company like Twitter to maintain our mark which we believe whole heartedly is rightfully ours. Therefore, we have decided to shut down Twitpic.
    • Data export:
      You will be able to export all your photos and videos. We’ll let everyone know when this feature is live in the next few days.
    • 2014-10-25 Twitpic’s Future
      […] we have reached an agreement with Twitter to give them the Twitpic domain and photo archive, thus keeping the photos and links alive for the time being.
      Emphasis added, thus implying domain and permalinks still at risk.
  • 2017-12-30 now redirects to - permalinks, if available, to content still resolve to the original photos

das Klub was a US based social network centered around industrial music and industrial community that was shut down by the single admin without any proper announcement. Everything was deleted, no data export was possible, the site is gone.

  • THE END of das Klub [11]
  • The End of Das Klub - Personal Opinion and Thoughts by JavaxChaos [12]

Was the canonical site for the Atom syndication format and publishing protocol.


  • 2017-08-09 SquirrelSave - an encrypted cloud backup facility that offered unlimited storage space for any number of PCs for a flat monthly fee - has been discontinued [13]
    • 2017-07-19 Announced [14]
    • We regret to announce that SquirrelSave will be shutting down on the 9th August 2017. All existing customers have been notified, but we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers for choosing SquirrelSave for your backup requirements. Please do email our customer care team should you have any questions or require assistance.


  • 2017-07-19: Hackpad shutting down after acquired by Dropbox.
    • 2017-04-21: Email to users encouraging them to try Dropbox Paper, with the options of importing Hackpad pads into Paper, or exporting pads into a single zip folder, or do nothing and let pads be automatically migrated to Paper on 2017-07-19, or opt out of automatic migration.


  • 2017-06-28 Clammr, an audio sharing site, announced by email that "we will be shutting down the Clammr service at 11:59pm ET on 2 July 2017." The company offered advice on how users can save their Clammrs.


  • 2017-06-23 Imzy shutting down.
    • 2017-05-23 Announced [15]
    • Data export requests must be received by June 16th. We will do our best to accommodate last minute and late requests but it is not guaranteed. The site will go read only on the 16th. You will have access to your data until June 21st. The site will go dark on June 23rd.


  • 2017-06-06: Clef shutting down.
    • 2017-03-06: Announced [16]
    • The Clef product will continue operating for three months, starting today, with a final shutdown date of June 6, 2017. Everything will remain fully functional and maintained until that date, at which point the mobile apps will cease functioning and be removed from the Google Play and Apple App stores.
    • As of 2017-06-08, the closure has been extended by one month "Clef will stop working on July 7, 2017 -- we recommend transitioning to Jetpack’s two-factor authentication as soon as possible."




  • 2017-05-01 mlkshk to shut down
    • 2017-22-02 Sunset announced on blog (archived)
    • 2017-04-01 turning off the ability to upload files to MLKSHK and the ability to view posts without being signed into your account. At that point we’ll provide a method for downloading all of your files to your computer.
    • 2017-05-01 MLKSHK will discontinue serving files

  • 2017-02-15: shutting down
  • 2017-03-31: Closed all free accounts

Autodesk 123D

  • 2017-03-31: Autodesk 123D shutting down.
    • 2016-12-16: Sunset Announced [17]
    • 2016-03-28: Imminent shutdown notice on their Facebook page [18]


  • 2017-01-31 OpenStudy, a social learning site focused on helping students with homework, is scheduled to stop service at the end of January. OpenStudy was acquired by Brainly. Users weren't given the ability to export data prior to shut down and it wasn't ported over to Users of the service needed to create new accounts on to continue usage.
    • Please expand with any information about number of users who lost data.


  • 2017-01-28 Parse shutting down



TiddlySpace is/was an online notebook that builds on the tried and tested "tiddler" model introduced by TiddlyWiki by moving tiddlers to the web. Details for exporting data were provided in a related Google Group



  • 2016-02-15 Fetchnotes is shutting down. In an email to users on 2016-02-03, Fetchnotes announced they would be shutting down the service in 13 days. A data export tool is provided in the website.
    • "We considered selling Fetchnotes to another company, but we preferred to do right by all of you in making sure that you could take your data with you. Even if we left it running, once we handed it off to somebody else, there's no way to know for sure how things would end."
  • 2016-02-17 revived with plans to crowdsource. [19]
  • 2016-10-08: Announced final shutdown would be 2016-11-08, after not receiving the necessary support.[20]



2016-09: Dipity shut down


  • 2016-09 Orkut Export shuts down.
    • 2014-09-30 Orkut shut down. Public archives read-only archives available at
    • "We are preserving an archive of all public communities, which will be available online starting September 30, 2014. If you don't want your posts or name to be included in the community archive, you can remove Orkut permanently from your Google account." [21]
    • "People can export their profile data, community posts and photos using Google Takeout (available until September 2016)" (ibid)


  • 2016-09-30 Readability bookmarking service shutting down. [22]
    • You can export your bookmarks by visiting your Tools page, scrolling down to the Data Export section, and clicking the Export Your Data button. You’ll receive an email soon after that contains your bookmarks. Similar services like Instapaper will allow you to import your bookmarks into their service.
    • The Readability Parser API for developers will continue to be supported and will continue to function as always. We plan to put new energy and focus on the Readability parser, and further announcements will follow.

Symantec Personal Identity Port

  • 2016-09-12 Symantec Personal Identity Port
    • Symantec will be discontinuing the service currently located at:
    • Announced in an email on 5/6/16: "All content from the service will be discarded and there will be no backups made. It is the user's responsibility to remove any content as after the date above it will not be recoverable. This will be the only notification provided. Due to the nature of the service, there is no migration plan available. If you have any questions you can send an email to:"
    • The service previously allowed: One-Click Sign In to store your usernames and passwords in PIP. Then click a link in your browser to quickly sign in to your accounts; Quickly and conveniently sign in or register at any Web site that displays the OpenID logo; Use your Personal Identity Page to display information you want people to know about you and to link to your other social networking sites; Protect your important files and records by safely storing them in the online File Vault.

  • 2016-09-01 shuts down.
    • You can export your stories until the close date by going to{yourname}/export
    • We’re printing — using a microscopic ion-etching process — the entire website upon a 2" × 2" nickel plate, giving it a fire- and saltwater-resistant shelf life of 10,000 years.[¹] At least five plates will be produced, to be held by five stewards — museums and libraries — around the world.

Google Drive web hosting

  • 2016-08-31 Google Drive [23]
    • Beginning August 31st, 2015, web hosting in Google Drive for users and developers will be deprecated. You can continue to use this feature for a period of one year until August 31st, 2016, when we will discontinue serving content via[doc id].


  • 2016-08-22 Picturelife shut down after several months of photos being offline.
    • SmugMug worked with Picturelife to rescue photos and make them available again.


  • 2016-08-04 Togethera and Upshot
    • Startup that provided private sharing of photos (etc.) for families. Announced via blog post on 2016-07-04 that they had failed to secure funding. The owners said that they will email current users with a link to download all uploaded material three days after the site shuts down. They also announced that the side project Upshot (which allows users to share pictures from nights out together that auto-delete after one week) would be shut down. (TechCrunch article, Tweet)



  • 2016-07-18 ThinkUp
    • Announced 2016-06-13 that the service would shut down and refunds would be issued for the balance of member subscriptions.
    • New signups closed as of 2016-06-13
    • There have been significant changes from Instagram, Twitter and Facebook that make it too hard for us to keep the service running, especially since we’ve been struggling as a business. We’re sorry, and we’re going to try to handle this shutdown the right way.


Facebook Paper


Portable Contacts, the canonical site for the Portable Contacts standard, died in May 2016, zombie reincarnated in July 2016, and is a zombie site to this day (2018).

  • 2016-05-16 domain expired and was not subsequently renewed in time by site owners
  • ... domain was squatted by someone else
  • 2016-07-31 zombie reincarnation started with new WordPress install that eventually redirects to a link (hence unlinked link)

See Portable Contacts for more (past archives etc.)


  • 2016-05-15 Revolv
    • Startup that sold $300 home automation hubs. Bought by Nest, a Google/Alphabet subsidiary, and due to be shutdown. The shutdown of Revolv has caused a lot of customer anger on Twitter and elsewhere. Guardian article, The Verge article, Medium post by customer
    • "The Revolv app and hub don’t work anymore, but we are offering a refund for your Revolv hub. To get your refund, please email us at"



  • 2016-05-01 Picasa
    • Google announced on 2016-02-12 that it will be retired in favor of Google Photos. The desktop software will no longer be maintained after 2016-03-15 and changes to the web albums will begin 2016-05-01. [26]
    • 2016-08-02 update: The album archive page for Picasa Web Albums is now live. You can view, download, or delete your Picasa Web Albums data on this page:


Experience Project

  • 2016-04-21 Experience Project, a site that asked users to contribute anonymous personal stories and confessions. On 2016-04-21, they will prevent new signups. After that date, they will allow one month for users to export their content before the site is "frozen". The reasons cited for the site shutdown is a combination of attacks on user privacy and being overrun with "bad apples" (malicious users, trolls etc.) Blog post (archived)

Coinkite Bitcoin web wallet

Yahoo BOSS hosted search

  • 2016-03-31 Yahoo BOSS hosted search [27]
    • At Yahoo, we’re always looking for ways to streamline and simplify products for our customers. With this focus in mind, we will discontinue BOSS JSON Search API, BOSS Placefinder API, BOSS Placespotter API and as well BOSS Hosted Search, on March 31, 2016.
    • Moving forward, customers can instead use YPA, a Javascript Solution that provides algorithmic web results with search ads for publishers who manage their own search engine results pages (SERPs)
    • Access to the BOSS will continue until March 31, 2016.

Dropbox Carousel


  • 2016-03-16 Amazon-owned Shelfari—a silo for logging and sharing what books people are reading—is shutting down and merging with Goodreads. There's a CSV exporter. Announcement blog post
    • As of 2016-06-13 redirects to Goodreads with a banner at the top "Shelfari has merged with Goodreads. Take a look around and let us know if you have any questions or need any assistance."


  • 2016-02-29 dotCloud Platform as a Service [29]
    • "The dotCloud platform as a service (PaaS), which developers can use to build and run apps without worrying about the underlying infrastructure, will be shutting down on February 29."
    • 2016-03-29 confirmed dead


Google Code

  • 2016-01-25 Google Code [31]
    • "March 12, 2015 - New project creation disabled."
    • "August 24, 2015 - The site goes read-only. You can still checkout/view project source, issues, and wikis."
    • "January 25, 2016 - The project hosting service is closed. You will be able to download a tarball of project source, issues, and wikis. These tarballs will be available throughout the rest of 2016."
    • From the comments: "I work on Google Code, and we will be putting a service in place to redirect deep links to project homepages, issues, etc. to their new locations."




  • 2015-12-22 Rdio [33]
    • Filed for bankruptcy 2015-11-16.
    • Bankrupt and assets being acquired by Pandora. [34]
    • Rdio blog on 2015-11-16 [35]:
      Rdio's service will not be interrupted today. We will have more updates in the coming weeks on what this process means for your Rdio account, but for the time being the service continues unchanged.
    • As of 2016-02-12, indicates "After logging in with your Rdio account below, you will be able to download an archive of your collection and take a look back at your life on Rdio."


  • 2015-12-20 Prismatic [36]. "[...] our iOS, Android and web news reader products will no longer be available and access to our Interest Graph APIs will be discontinued."
    • As of 2016-02-12, is blank due to DNS failure

Lumia Storyteller

  • 2015-10-30 Microsoft closes the "Lumia Storyteller" page which could be used to publish photo stories from the Lumia smartphones.
    • This was announced on 2015-09-04; users had ~60 days to backup their data
We’ve said goodbye to Lumia Storyteller. Online stories previously shared here are no longer available. Thanks for using Storyteller!


  • 2015-10-?? There was apparently no notification about shutdown or ability to export data announced. Time of site death is based on the relative time of their Twitter account's last tweet on 24 Sep 2015. The demise was directly confirmed on 10/29/16. ReadingPack was one of many bookmarking and read later silo services that allowed sharing to other social networks, but also served as a social service within itself for discovering interesting material to read.

Comcast/Xfinity Personal Web Pages

  • 2015-10-08 Comcast/Xfinity Personal Web Pages [37]
    • announced around 2015-07-06
    • As of 2015-11-20, Comcast Personal Web Pages return a 404 with the message "Error: Your request of "[username]" was not found on redirect platform."

Mozilla Appmaker

  • 2015-05-04 Mozilla leaves Popcorn, a webmaker app, available but pulsl supports. [38]
  • 205-09-30 Mozilla discontinues and shut's down the project in favor of a new Android based webmaker program [39]
    • As our tools evolve, we will no longer support Appmaker and Popcorn Maker. Instead, we’re focusing our efforts on Webmaker for Android, which empowers smartphone users to create local content and read, write and participate online.

Mozilla Popcorn

  • 2015-05-04 Mozilla leaves Popcorn, a webmaker app, available but pulls supports. [40]
    • We also want to share news about Popcorn Maker. While the tool remains available, our team will no longer be providing support.
  • 205-09-30 Mozilla discontinues and shut's down project in favor of a new Android based webmaker program [41]
    • As our tools evolve, we will no longer support Appmaker and Popcorn Maker. Instead, we’re focusing our efforts on Webmaker for Android, which empowers smartphone users to create local content and read, write and participate online.

Yahoo Pipes

  • 2015-08-30 read-only; 2015-09-30 closed. Yahoo Pipes [42]
    • Pipes creation will not be supported as of Aug. 30 this year. Pipes infrastructure will run until Sept. 30, 2015 in read-only mode to help developers migrate their data. Please visit for additional details.

  • 2015-09-29 [43]
  • Closed the same day as announcement.
    • Unfortunately, we didn’t get enough support through our subscribers to keep the site running month to month. We’re truly thankful for the donations we received that helped keep the site up until now. If it wasn’t for you, the site would have shut down 3 weeks ago. For the people who are currently subscribed, all active subscriptions will be cancelled today. At 3PM PDT we’ll be shutting our doors.

This Is My Jam

  • 2015-09-26 This Is My Jam [44]
    • This Is My Jam will become a read-only time capsule on September 26, 2015. This means you won’t be able to post anymore, but you’ll be able to browse a new archive version of the site.
    • Your profile data (jams, loves, etc) will also be exportable in a few formats, including text lists; the read-only API will stay online for developers who want to play; we’ll also be open sourcing as much code as we can on Github.


  • 2015-09-06 Kippt was a social bookmarking service founded in 2011 which has helped hundreds of thousands of people store and share knowledge, ideas and inspiration from around the web.
  • 2014-05-06 Announcement of closure
    • Export Options – Including a Kippt Export Browser: Kippt's users can export their data which we made available in three different formats (Web browser, standard Netscape bookmarks export and JSON).
    • Exports will be available until April 2016 but we recommend downloading your data today. To keep collecting important thing on the web and using your data, we recommend Pinboard, Dropmark and Pocket. You'll find instructions how to import your data in your export.

Google+ Photos

  • 2015-08-01 - Google+ Photos begins to shut down. Google+ Photos was a photo service integrated into Google+. In May of 2015, Google created a new photos product that had no relationship with Google+. Since all information was migrated, and it is still a service of the same company, incorporating many of the same features, it could be considered more of a 'spinoff'.


Google Moderator

Yahoo Maps

  • 2015-06-30 Yahoo Maps [45]
    • The Yahoo Maps site will close at the end of June. However, in the context of Yahoo search and on several other Yahoo properties including Flickr, we will continue to support maps. We made this decision to better align resources to Yahoo’s priorities as our business has evolved since we first launched Yahoo Maps eight years ago.
  • 2015-07-22 now redirects to a Yahoo search for "maps"

Balanced Payments

  • 2015-06-11 Balanced Payments [46]
    • We started building a payments service for marketplaces in 2011. We were shocked with the state of payments at the time, and the pains a marketplace had to go through. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to reach the escape velocity necessary to be a large, innovative, independent player in the payments space and have decided not to continue building Balanced. We reached out to Stripe and have been working with them to provide a smooth path forward for our customers. Our full API and dashboard will be available until June 11, 2015, and support for issuing refunds, querying transactions, and fighting chargebacks will continue until October 9, 2015.



  • 2015-05-31 Gitorious [50]
    • Users have until the end of May 2015 to import their repositories into Gitlab.
    • See for the announcement
    • As of 2015-06-04, still lists a message at the top of the page indicating it will be shut down "end of May"
    • As of 2016-10-27, indicates "This is a read-only mirror of the former code hosting website"

  • 2015-04-30 map tile service (copy of email sent to tommorris)
    • "We are really proud to have created an OpenStreetMap map style that has raised the bar in terms of accuracy and visual quality, but weren't able to create a sustainable business."


Grooveshark ( was a streaming music service.

  • 2015-04-30 Grooveshark shutdown [51]
    • 1000s user profiles lost[52]
    •  ???? listening history lost

Google OpenID

According to Google's Timetable. Unsure if actual shut down dates differed. This was only noticed after a tweet lamenting the takedown

  • 2015-04-20 OpenID 2.0 is shut down. A static error page will be displayed on all requests.
  • 2015-03-23 Grace period for developers using the openid_shutdown_ack parameter ends, warning is shown and auto-approval turned off for all applications.
  • 2015-02-23 Auto-approval is turned off, users must consent on each request. Developers passing openid_shutdown_ack are unaffected.
  • 2015-01-12 Auto-approval is progressivly disabled for more and more users, these users will be forced to re-consent. Developers passing openid_shutdown_ack are unaffected.
  • 2014-12-01 Auto-approval is disabled for a small number of requests on an intermittent basis, some users will be forced to re-consent.
  • 2014-11-18 User-facing warning message may be shown on consent dialogs, directing users to this help article. Developers may suppress deprecation warnings by adding the openid_shutdown_ack parameter, as specified above.


  • 2015-03-31 Trovebox [53]
    • Users have until March 15, 2015 to grab an archive of their photos before the service shuts.
    • The service was open source though, so you can keep running your instance yourself. It will also be continued by at least one IndieHoster.


  • 2015-04-10 FriendFeed shutdown(per Wikipedia article).
  • 2015-04-09 shutdown expected[54]
    • ". . . the number of people using FriendFeed has been steadily declining and the community is now just a fraction of what it once was. Given this, we've decided that it's time to start winding things down. Beginning today, we will no longer accept new signups. You will be able to view your posts, messages, and photos until April 9th. On April 9th, we'll be shutting down FriendFeed and it will no longer be available."
    • Via
    •  ???? FriendFeed user profiles lost
    •  ???? FriendFeed posts lost, permalinks broken


  • 2015-01-01 tvtag ( shut down.[55][56] "Effective January 1st, tvtag is offline. Thanks for tagging along!"[57] It was for checking into TV shows.
    • "If you're interested in requesting a copy of your data, please email your username in the subject line to"
    •  ???? tvtag user profiles lost
    •  ???? tvtag checkins lost


Yahoo! Directory

  • 2014-12-31 Yahoo! Directory [58] [59]
    • 2015-01-19 and redirect to, still appear to be visible but perhaps not changing.
    • 2017-10-31 no longer resolves


  • 2014-12-?? OpenSocial shut down their site when they transferred everything to W3C and redirected all URLs to a W3C blog post.
    •  ??? # of blog posts, comments, etc. lost at

Netflix API

  • 2014-11-14 Netflix shut down their API.
    • Announced in a blog post 2014-06-13 [60]:
      To better focus our efforts and to align them with the needs of our global member base, we will be retiring the public API program. Effective on November 14, 2014, public API developers will no longer be able to access Netflix content. All requests to the public API will return 404 errors.


  • 2014-10-28 43things, a website used to collect and and set personal goals, is shutting down:



  • 2014-10-11, a small free service allowing people to write a letter to their future self [61]. Users were told that they could save their entries to a text file and given a link to download those files before the shutdown date.

Petition Online

  • 2014-09-30 shutdown by owner (
    • As of 2019-05-31 the site (archived) still says
      The End

      We'd like to thank all of you for your participation in the Petition Online community and how you used it to change the world. Sadly, the continued cost and maintenance of the site has made it no longer viable, especially with other alternatives out there.

    •  ???? Petitions lost (thousands, with 10s of millions of signatures as of 2008 per Wikipedia)


  • 2014-09-30 shutdown by owner ( Deleting the Family Tree: MyFamily shuttered: deleted 10 years of family history)
    • 2014-06-04 MyFamily shutdown announced[62](see comments on that blog post for user outrage)
    • 2014-06-05 MyFamily shutdown announced to happen 2014-09-05[63]
    • Export was photos only, all text / correspondence lost[64]
    • Over 1.5 million (as of 2004!) user profiles lost [65]
    • Exaggerated claim:
      “[u]nlimited storage space and SiteSafeSM technology keep all of your family memories safe and secure. No matter what.”


  • 2014-08-??, a small paid hosting service shut down when its single server "simply went away". The guts of the service were simplified and open-sourced as boxpub.


  • 2014-08-31: Svpply will be sunset by eBay.
    • "We regret to announce that and its associated apps — Svpply and Want by Svpply — will retire on August 31st."
    • Export of link data added to the site is available from users' account settings.
    • In response, the founder launched a Kickstarter campaign to build a new version of the site, called Very Goods. It was successfully funded on 2014-07-21.
    • 2015-01-19 simply redirects to, and pages inside redirect as well, e.g. their sunset announcement redirects to (a 404).


  • 2014-08-10 Fotopedia photo encyclopedia and photo album host to be shut down
    • Announced 2014-07-31: ". . . your data will be available to download until August 10, 2014. After this date, all photos and data will be permanently deleted from our servers."


  • 2014-07-01 Readmill "app will no longer be available ... All of your books, reading data and account information will be permanently deleted. User information will not be archived, shared or saved in any way."[67].
    • Export data includes books, followers, followings, readings, highlights, reviews, comments and likes on your highlights and reviews, and highlights you liked.
    •  ???? Readmill profiles being lost, including followers/followings lists, readings, highlights, reviews, comments, likes, comments and likes on your highlights and reviews, and highlights liked
    •  ???? purchased ebooks lost


  • 2014-07-31 "On July 31 2014 we will shutdown the Repost api servers and all embedded content will cease to be available"[68]
    • Will redirect API requests to a service that returns errors (to help callers avoid hanging) through 2014-12-31
    • Link shortener remains active through the end of the year 2014-12-31



2014-06-19 finally disappeared according to


  • 2014-06-17 experienced a DDOS and an unauthorized person gained access to their EC2 control panel. From
    • . . . removed all EBS snapshots, S3 buckets, all AMI's, some EBS instances and several machine instances.
    • In summary, most of our data, backups, machine configurations and offsite backups were either partially or completely deleted.
    • Code Spaces will not be able to operate beyond this point, the cost of resolving this issue to date and the expected cost of refunding customers who have been left without the service they paid for will put Code Spaces in a irreversible position both financially and in terms of on going credibility.

      As such at this point in time we have no alternative but to cease trading and concentrate on supporting our affected customers in exporting any remaining data they have left with us.


  • 2014-06-15 no longer archiving live broadcasts and will be deleting all archived videos with two weeks notice.
    • "All VODs will be removed after June 15, 2014. We recommend downloading your recorded videos before the date."
      • Initially this reported "June 8, 2014", but as of 2014-06-24 the page says June 15.
    • 2014-05-29
    • shut down and transferred all focus to gaming-related content platform Twitch Interactive. Videos on are no longer accessible for download. Video archiving and VODs was removed on June 15, 2014.
    • Accounts only saved for users who used their account to login to Twitch, or signed up for Twitch. Users still using their logins to log into Twitch will need to complete a form to have account transferred to Twitch for full site will move your account within 72 hours. Request to transfer account must be received on or before Friday, September 5, 2014. The site reminds users "Twitch is a site for gaming-related content only" and that all content posted to Twitch must follow Twitch TOS.
    • accounts tranferred to Twitch will keep the username and email address associated with the Accounts will continue to follow any currently followed Twitch channel, but not any JTV channel, unless that channel is also transferred to Twitch. Users will NOT keep JTV followers, unless those followers have also transferred to Twitch. VODs will not be transferred to Twitch.
    • Active Pro Account Users will be refunded. An email to members communicated the cancellation and refund process.
    • Mobile apps, APIs, broadcast tool, and all other components of the site no longer work. Users were referred to YouTube, Ustream and Livestream for live video content.
    •  ???? Lost videos
    •  ???? Lost user accounts
    • downloaded all videos with more than 10 views. also took requests to download and archive specific videos by request.

Ubuntu One

  • 2014-06-01 Ubuntu One cloud sync service run by Canonical, makers of Ubuntu, to be discontinued.
    • ". . . user content will remain available for download until 31 July, at which time it will be deleted."


  • 2014-06-?? Spreadly social sharing platform
    • Service was shut down because company closed. All data was deleted without providing any kind of export.


  • 2014-05-30 Editorially collaborative writing and editing platform
    • Service will be shut down; did not get enough users to make it sustainable. Users have until shut down date to export their data. Archive will include a plain text file for every version of every document you have access to; it will also include comments, version notes, tags, activity, and other metadata about your documents. That metadata will be provided in the form of a YAML file.
    • 2014-06-24: Announced that Editorially has been acquired by Vox Media and they want to "release parts of the code via an open source license." Interestingly, "Absolutely no user data — no names, email addresses, documents, or any other user data — will be transferred to Vox Media."
    • 2014-12-31: "Remaining data backups will be permanently deleted" (until then "users may request a backup of their data by emailing" - )


  • 2014-05-16 Loom cloud-based photo storage
    • Announced being acquired by DropBox 2014-04-17. [70] [71]
    • No longer enrolling new users. Existing Loom users can continue to use our service until May 16, 2014
    • 2014-05-31, 2015-01-19 site appears to still be up for existing users. - Tantek



  • 2014-03-15 "shutting down"[72]. Site already has goodbye message as of 2014-02-10. Email also sent to users with same message dated 2014-02-10.
    • Deletion coming:
      On March, 15th all data and images will be deleted forever.
    • 150,000+ user profiles will be lost
    • "millions of collected items" will be lost
    • Amazing insight quote in shutdown notice:
      Zootool made us realize that the general idea of running a central service is nothing we believe in any longer. Your data should belong to you and shouldn't be stored on our servers. You shouldn't have to rely on us or on any other service to keep your data secure and online.
    • Data export promise:
      You will have the chance to export your data over the next weeks. We offer export for bookmark files, which can be used to import your bookmarks in all common browsers and most other bookmark services. You can find the export in your Settings.
    • 2014-02-14 Read only mode expected:
      Starting by the end of this week we are going to switch Zootool into read-only mode. You will still be able to browse your collection, but you will not be able to add new bookmarks.


My Opera

  • 2014-03-03 My Opera shutdown by Opera Software.[73]
    • was launched in 2001
    •  ??? user profiles lost
    •  ??? permalinks lost



  • 2014-01-02 Ptch shut down. Ptch Joins Yahoo. Instructions provided for how to save user content.



2013-12-31 Hyves, formerly the major social network of the Netherlands, turned into a gaming site with all new accounts. Announced closing 2013-10-31. Offered download until 2013-12-31.


2013-12-12 ClaimID "ceased operations"[74] after "7 years, 6 months, and 20 days of service"[75].

  • 100,000s profiles / identities lost


2013-12-01 HipGeo travel journal app that allowed people to track their travels and location. Site replaced with a WordPress installation with one post and a default comment. All permalinks from Google search results for the brand broken [76]. ??? profiles lost. Shutdown announcement: [77]


2013-11-05 Everpix photo content hosting silo announces shutdown, immediately goes "read-only", and says they will "email instructions to all Everpix users on how to download their photos".[78][79][80] [81]


2013-11-05- Sold, a service to help people sell things, was acquired by Dropbox and shut down. *


2013-11-01 iGoogle shut down What's happening to iGoogle? The mobile version was retired on 2012-07-31.


2013-11-01 Dopplr discontinued (home page and [82]).


2013-10-11 DarQroom started as a free photograph storage / publication / printing platform until the end announced by Thierry Ferey - former co-founder and CEO of DarQroom

Yahoo Term Extraction API

2013-09-28 Yahoo! Term Extraction API (citation needed)

  • We are eliminating direct access to the Yahoo! Term Extraction API and as of September 28, will require developers to go through YQL. We encourage all existing users of the Term Extraction Legacy API to migrate to YQL requests by September 28. You can use the YQL forums for any questions you might have about migrating to YQL. If you are already using the Term Extraction API via YQL, you don’t need to take any action.

Net Magazine

2013-09-19- .Net Magazine, a web industry magazine, merged with creative bloq

  • how many URLs lost? apparently top 500 articles out of > 9000 were moved with proper redirects, working on moving others


2013-09-01 GeoURL 503 Service Unavailable

  • GeoURL is (was) a location-to-URL reverse directory. This will allow you to find URLs by their proximity to a given location
  • reports "Organization closed on September 1, 2013"
  • At least these two domains: &

Yahoo Astrid

2013-08-05 Yahoo! Astrid (task tracking service)

Yahoo Local API

2013-09-28 Yahoo! Local API


2013-08-21- a grocery delivery service, shuts down. Launch article from 2009. Announcement of Shutdown on YCombinator.

  • how many user accounts were lost?
  • as any user content lost?
  • were any public permalinks to user content lost?

Google Latitude

2013-08-09 Google Latitude retired[84].

Silent Circle

2013-08-09 Silent Circle Maryland-based encrypted private email provider preemptively shut down following suit of Lavabit. Two Providers of Secure E-Mail Shut Down, Silent Circle Preemptively Shuts Down Encrypted Email Service To Prevent NSA Spying


2013-08-08 Lavabit Texas-based encrypted private email provider shut down due to its affiliation with being whistleblower Edward Snowden's email provider since 2010. Lavabit's founder Ladar Levison decided to shut down the service after a cost benefit analysis on whether to shut down the service or become "complicit in crimes against the American people". Lavabit, email service Snowden reportedly used, abruptly shuts down


2013-07-24 Snapjoy shut down after being acquired by Dropbox. article

Yahoo Neighbors Beta

2013-07-08 Yahoo! Neighbors Beta (was shutdown.[85][86]

  • Unknown number of user questions & answers lost.

Google Reader

2013-07-01 Google Reader shut down.[87][88]

  •  ???? number of (users) / user feed reading lists lost
  •  ???? number of saved/faved reading items lost

MySpace User Blogs

2013-06-12 User blogs after MySpace redesign. MySpace Punishes Its Few Remaining Friends By Vanishing Their Blogs

2013-03-13 shut down after purchase by YouTube and merged into YouNow.


2013-04-30 after being acquired by Yahoo


2013-04-30 Thanks from Posterous after being acquired by Twitter


2013-02-07 ultralocal news/information site shutdown with "zero warning". Farewell, neighbors

  •  ???? friends lists lost. [90][91]
  •  ???? discussion threads lost. (ibid)

Yahoo Voice Phone In Out

2013-01-30 Yahoo! Voice Phone In and Phone Out feature shut down


2013-01-22 Mixel [92] - social network shut down. (Mixel has been acquired by Etsy)

  • App removed from Apple's App store, network shutting down early September (2012-09).
  • current Mixels can be shared, bulk export functionality on its way
  •  ???? user profiles lost


  • 2012-12-03 Twistory [96]
    • Not accepting new users as of 2012-11-07
    • Paying users were no longer be billed, and had "several months" to download a .csv of their data
  • 2012-10-31 photo sharing site shut down. article
  • 2012-10-12 DailyBooth photo sharing site shut down. article
  • 2012-10-09 OStatus original site died when it was redirected to a W3C Community Group link and none of the URLs (specifications, blog posts, etc.) were preserved/recreated at the new destination.
  • 2012-09-02 picplz - last day to login and download photo archives[97].
    • 2012-07-03 site already shut down
    • 2013-08-02 domain not found
  • 2012-07-20 KLIK - last day to login and download photo archives
    • Going down with the API due to acquisition by Facebook.
    • 2013-08-01 domain not found
  • 2012-07-05? Plazes downloads.
    • Export was available (for who knows how long) - "you can download and keep your Plazes history" (checked as of 2012-07-05)
    • 2012-06-30 site officially shut down. See below.
  • 2012-07-03 picplz has shut down[98].
    • 2012-09-03 "Photo archives will be available until September 3, 2102" (ibid)
    • picplz shut down planned [99]
  • 2012-06-30 Plazes. [100]
    • Export available (for who knows how long)
  • 2012-06-30 Apple MobileMe Gallery, iDisk, iWeb[102],[103],email
    • as of 2012-07-05 on "For a limited time, you can still move your account to iCloud, download your photos from Gallery, and download your files from iDisk."
      • who knows how long you can still get your data.
    • "Closed." screenshot(on Flickr).
    • 2011-06-06 Apple Support Communities: What happens to iWeb when there's no Mobile Me?
      • Note first comment: "FYI, Apple is deleting some topics pertaining to people voicing their opinions on iWeb and iDisk. Just be careful."
  • 2012-05-30 Tabblo shutdown by HP. Was at
    •  ??? number of photos lost (Archive Team has "almost everything" and is posting them to
    •  ??? number of "tabblos" (collection of photos) lost
    •  ??? number of links to photos / tabblos broke
    • 2012-01-31 All original Tabblo employees gone (from HP) as well as those they directly hired.[104]
    • 2007-03-23 HP acquired Tabblo[105].
      • "five million pictures" (at time of acquisition)
    • 2006-06 Tabblo launched. (ibid)
  • 2012-05-01 Google Knol discontinued - was at
    • 2012-10-01 Download your Knol - til 2012-10-01.
    •  ??? number of Google Knol pages lost
    •  ??? number of links to Google Knol pages broke
    • 2008-07-23 Google Knol launched to the public.[106]
    • 2007-12 Google Knol private beta launch.(ibid)
  • 2012-04-30 Google Wave shut down.[107],[108]
    • 2012-01-31 Google Wave went read-only.(ibid)
    •  ??? number of Google Waves lost
      •  ??? number of migrated Etherpads lost
    •  ??? number of links to Google Waves broke
    • 2010-08-04 Shutdown implied: "We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year..."[109]
  • 2012-03-11 Gowalla shut down
    •  ??? number of user profiles lost
    •  ??? number of user check-in permalinks lost
  • 2012-03-01 Google Friend Connect retired for all non-Blogger sites - was at
    • Export your community data - unknown how long it will be supported.
      • limitation: "Export Community is limited to your site’s first 2000 members" (ibid)
    • encouraged to transition to Google+: "create a Google+ page and place a Google+ badge on your site".
    • 2008-05-12 Google Friend Connect launched.[110][111]


  • 2011-12-15 Google Buzz put into read only mode (Buzz API shut down), subsequently killed in 2014
    •  ??? number of Google Buzz posts lost
    •  ??? number of Google Buzz user profiles lost
    •  ??? links to Google Base posts broke
    • 2014-08-16 (or earlier) Google Buzz permalinks stopped working, starting 404ing.[112]
    • 2011-12-15 Google Buzz permalinks switched to read-only mode.[113][114]
    • 2011-10-14 Google announced the shut down with only 2 months notice[115][116][117].
      • From Gizmodo: Gizmodo RIP Google Buzz
        I'd say I'm going to miss Buzz, but to be honest I had all but forgotten about it. Oh well. If you need me, I'll be hanging out on Google Wave.
        emphasis added.
  • 2011-07-11 URL shortener failed.[118]
    •  ??? number of short links lost
    •  ??? number of links to URLs broken (across the web, Twitter, etc.)
    • 2009-12-31 redirecting promised thru this date (and worked)
    • 2009-08-10 went read only. short link creation disabled.[119][120]


  • 2010-12-10 Brightkite shut down - was at
    •  ??? number of user profiles lost
    •  ??? number of user check-in permalinks lost
  • 2010-09-30 Vox shut down - was at[122]
    • 2010-09-15 Vox went read-only (ibid)
    •  ??? number of Vox blogs / posts lost.
      •  ??? number of migrated Pownce profiles lost.[123]
    •  ??? links to Vox posts broke.
  • 2010-06 shut down URI shortener
    • Had previously stopped accepting new URIs but continued to serve old ones
    • 55437 short URIs lost
  • 2010-05-15 offline taken offline by Google. (including their own blog post of their transition: Etherpad went read-only a month beforehand (2010-04-14).
    •  ??? number of Etherpad pages lost.
    •  ??? links to Etherpad pages broke.
    • Migration advised: to Google Wave. "Current EtherPad users will also be getting invites to try Google Wave in the near future..."[124], "EtherPad users got invites to use Wave..."[125]
  • 2010-05-14 Twine taken offline at by Evri and redirected to
    • 2010-03-11 Evry acquired Twine.
    •  ??? number of Twine pages lost.
    •  ??? links to Twine pages broke.
    • 2008-10-21 Twine launched publicly


  • 2009-12-31 Radio Userland service closing. [126]
    •  ?? number of blog posts lost
    •  ?? hosted comments and trackbacks lost
  • 2009-12-29 Haloscan commenting service shut down.[127]
    •  ??? number of comments lost
    •  ??? number of links to comments broken
    •  ??? number of blogs with embedded Haloscan commenting broken
  • 2009-08-24 Microsoft Popfly went offline
    • Warning given on 2009-07-16
    •  ??? number of user-created sites gone
  • 2009-06-11 shut down by Google
    • announcement
    • "We're shutting down Hello to focus our efforts on the development of Picasa and Picasa Web Albums and other photo sharing efforts, including Talk and the new OpenSocial effort."
  • 2009-04 shut down by Google
    •  ??? number of Dodgeball profiles gone.
    •  ??? number of Dodgeball venues gone (user created)
    •  ??? number of venue reviews gone (user created)
    • 2009-02-28(?) went read-only at "end of February"[130]
    • 2009-01-14 Shut down announced by Google[131]
    • Subsequent site: Google Latitude.[132]
  • 2009-02 went offline. Was previously scheduled to go offline 2008-12-15, but voluntary code patches/contributions from Tantek helped them to transition to public read-only access (to increase chance of archival of content) on that date for about 2 months.
    • 2008-12-15 went read-only.
    •  ??? number of Pownce profiles gone.
    •  ??? links to Pownce posts broken.
    • Migration Advised: import to Vox: "Six Apart is encouraging Pownce members to join its blog platform Vox".[133]
  • 2009-01-30 shutdown.[134]. suffered catastrophic database corruption and lost all user data.


  • 2008-03 shut down by CNET.[135]
    •  ??? number of Consumating profiles/posts lost.
    •  ??? links to Consumating posts broken.
  • 2008-10-31 AOL Hometown shutdown [136] by AOL.
    • At least 14 million sites lost. [137] 2002 stats estimate 14 million sites on Hometown that year.
    • "Well it looks like AOL did it again. Another sneaky move. The Hometown pages all seem to have disappeared. [...] I only discovered this morning that AOL pulled the plug on Oct 31st, 2008." -, November 11th, 2008[26]
    • "Lots of information on AOL Hometown very important to people who put hard work into these efforts is being lost, possibly without notice." - David Dillard, "Meet the Googles" Visits the Grave Site of AOL Hometown to Ponder Its Past All to Short Life[27]
    • "I was surprised to find that AOL just shut down their homepage service on Oct. 31st. There were many great websites created through that service that simply no longer exist." - Dr. Jitters, November 12, 2008[28]
    • "I knew this was coming, I just didn't know the day. I tried, with the help of some great people, to get AOL to donate ficlets to a non-profit, with no luck. I asked them just to give it to me outright since I invented it and built it with the help of some spectacular developers and designers. All of this has gone nowhere. [...] I'm disappointed that AOL's turned its back on the community, although I guess I shouldn't be surprised." - Kevin Lawver, Ficlets Est Mort[29]
    • "A terrible thing happened recently. You might have missed it. AOL Hometown, which itself was actually a combination of a bunch of previously acquired websites, shut down. [...] It's all fine and good, those readers who sneer and say 'you get what you pay for' and 'ha ha, losers'. But the fact is, these people were brought online and given a place for themselves. Like a turkey drawn with a child's hand or a collection of snow globes collected from a life well-lived, these sites were hand-made, done by real people, with no agenda or business plan or knowledge, exactly, of how everything under the webservers worked. They were paying for their accounts, make no mistake – this was often provided to them as a tool combined with their AOL accounts. Some were absorbed from other companies as AOL purchased them. Some of these websites had existed for a decade. [...] We're talking about terabytes, terabytes of data, of hundreds of thousands of man-hours of work, crafted by people, an anthropological bonanza and a critical part of online history, wiped out because someone had to show that they were cutting costs this quarter." - Jason Scott, Eviction, or the Coming Datapocalypse [138]


Fucked Company

Per Wikipedia, in 2007 August,'s home page was changed to read
R.I.P. 2000-2007.

As of 2018-029, only the home page and are returned for a web search. All other attempts at loading various pages at that domain return a "403 Forbidden".

Fuckedcompany was a popular site-deaths (actual, impending, at-risk) tracking site near the end and after the first dotcom boom.

  •  ???? number of posts lost
  •  ???? number of company profiles lost
  • ...







  • 2001 shutdown[139] suddenly, without users being able to download their documents.
    •  ??? user profiles lost
    •  ??? user documents lost
  • 2001 (wikipedia), one of the first social networking services


  • 2000-07-02 PlanetAll shutdown[140] by Amazon.
    • 1.5 million user profiles lost including address books, calendars, buddy lists. (ibid)
    • 2000-06-06 Amazon told users " will be going away"(ibid)
    • 1998-08-04 Amazon bought PlanetAll [141]
    • 1996-11 PlanetAll launched[142]

Unknown Year

  • Wannadoo/orange personal sites
  • photo sharing / flickr competitor
  • yfrog photo service for Twitter, owned by ImageShack. redirects to The service was very popular, along with TwitPic, in the early years of Twitter. Resurfaced images via apps like Timehop appear as broken links.
  • WebDAV Resources (, on the internet archive) was a site documenting all things WebDAV and hosted implementations as well as a test suite (Litmus, also on the internet archive).



Publish on

  • Create a MW template for listing shutdowns
  • Add h-event markup to the MW template, noting the date, company, and description of the shutdown. (maybe logo too somehow?)
  • Aaron Parecki can write a parser that takes the list of h-events and reformats them nicely to fit on

See Also

  • history
  • timeline
  • site-changes
  • site-hacks
  • acquihire
  • “Facebook is, in a phrase, “so high school”; however, unlike “so middle school” Myspace, the slow death of Facebook is infinitely more justified.”
    • "The first time I can remember logging on to the net was around 1998, when I was five years old. My father was with me; I remember him working his magic, getting the modem to hum its infamous atonal tune. The purpose of this journey was to see if the internet had any answers to my persistent questions about how railroad crossings worked. We opened a search engine, probably AltaVista, and quickly found a Geocities webpage devoted to railroad crossings from around the world. I still remember the site’s black textured background, its grainy, white serif typeface, and the blinking gifs of railroad crossings positioned on either side of a slightly off-center text header. 
      I’m a digital native, older than most. Because my father worked for the federal government, our household was an early adopter of the internet. As I grew up, so did it. When I was a child, for example, the internet was still indexable; you generally found websites through directories and webrings. Favorites meant something, because finding what you were looking for often took quite a bit of time. When search engines became the norm, around the time I was in elementary school, this analog directory hunting was replaced with the ubiquitous Google search. Which is to say I witnessed it all, and as a particularly lonely child, I witnessed it rather closely: Neopets in elementary school, the birth of Myspace in middle school, the rise of Facebook in early high school, Instagram in late high school, the internet culture wars of infamy as a freshman in college, Donald Trump and Cambridge Analytica in graduate school.
      Writing in 2008, the new media scholar Geert Lovink separated internet culture into three periods:
      First, the scientific, precommercial, text-only period before the World Wide Web. Second, the euphoric, speculative period in which the Internet opened up for the general audience, culminating in the late 1990s dotcom mania. Third, the post-dot-com crash/post-9/11 period, which is now coming to a close with the Web 2.0 mini-bubble.
      For those my age, this tripartite history of the net begins at number two, with the anarchic, sprawling, ’90s net, followed by the post-9/11, pre-iPhone variety (including the blogosphere and the fulcrum moment that was Myspace), and ending with today’s app-driven, hyper-conglomerate social media net.
      Like many people my age and older, I miss the pre–social media internet. The new internet knows this, and it capitalizes on my nostalgia as it eats away at the old internet. It amounts to an unforeseen form of technological cannibalism.
      Admittedly, the phenomenon of the self-eating internet may not be obvious when we think about it in the abstract; we need to break it down into its constituent operations. For example, I open my Instagram account to post on my Instagram Story feed that I’m writing this essay about internet nostalgia. There I can attach kitschy gifs to my story like fancy stickers—I look at my options, and the offerings remind me of various moments from my online past. There’s an image of sparkles that takes me back to the flash-based dress-up games I once played as a tween. There’s another gif with glitzy text that reads “Don’t hate me cuz I’m beautiful,” recalling the emotional trials of my Myspace days. And there is yet another gif that features a computer that bears a suspicious resemblance to the “My Computer” icon from Windows 95. These gifs come from Giphy, which has been integrated with Instagram for years. They’re lo-res, imperfect, and entirely decontextualized. These disembodied ghosts—ancient in computer years—blink back at me because tech companies know that, based on my age, I like them. And I do like them. I miss where they came from—it’s a place I’ve found is no longer there.
      The Hell of Beautiful Interfaces
      The internet is perhaps the most potent and active delivery system in history for the thesis “capitalism will obliterate everything you know and love”—online it happens in real time. Considering the average website is less than ten years old, that old warning from your parents that says to “be careful what you post online because it’ll be there forever” is like the story your dad told you about chocolate milk coming from brown cows, a well-meant farce. On the contrary, librarians and archivists have implored us for years to be wary of the impermanence of digital media; when a website, especially one that invites mass participation, goes offline or executes a huge dump of its data and resources, it’s as if a smallish Library of Alexandria has been burned to the ground. Except unlike the burning of such a library, when a website folds, the ensuing commentary from tech blogs asks only why the company folded, or why a startup wasn’t profitable. Ignored is the scope and species of the lost material, or what it might have meant to the scant few who are left to salvage the digital wreck.
      These disembodied ghosts—ancient in computer years—blink back at me because tech companies know that, based on my age, I like them.
      The reason the tech literati don’t wring their hands more is obvious: the artifacts of internet life are personal—that is, not professionally or historically notable—and therefore worthless. The persistent erasure of what are essentially frozen experiences, snapshots of our lives, nakedly demonstrates how tech monopolies value the human commonality and user experience so loftily promoted in their branding—they don’t. And this is especially true in an era where involuntary data mining, as opposed to voluntary participation, is king.
      Of course, these same writers have devoted several books to the history and culture of what Lovink identifies as the “scientific period” of the web, the one populated exclusively by elite scientists, researchers, and geeks, and given over to the BBS days of early computing, before graphical user interfaces and web browsers made the net accessible to the lowly amateur. And countless hagiographies and histories have been written about the technology of the internet and its “inventors” hailing from the FAANGs (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google). But the users of those technologies and services can only be found in the data point or the footnote, transformed into an anonymous bleating mass a world below the visionaries who built the platforms that now alchemize our consumer preferences into chunks of fool’s gold. Meanwhile, the genuine experiences of users are ignored, despite the fact that the internet has always been deeply and irrevocably personal. The internet historian and artist Olia Lialina sums up this historical negligence aptly when she writes, “. . . we’ve studied the history of hypertext, but not the history of Metallica fan web rings or web rings in general.”
      Fortunately, Olia Lialina and others have managed to document one glimmering period of internet history: the Geocities era of the 1990s, with its haphazardly designed, amateur- generated sites. Lialina, whose work includes several essays and a reader about digital folklore, co-created the One Terabyte of Kilobyte Age project to archive and memorialize Geocities and the stories of its neophyte users. In surveying Lialina’s project, I discovered early that I’m not alone in my fervor for the old internet. It turns out there is a surfeit of nostalgia for the clunky Geocities web. As Lialina wrote in 2005:
      It was a web of sudden connections and personal links. Pages were built on the edge of tomorrow, full of hope for a faster connection and a more powerful computer. One could say it was the web of the indigenous . . . or the barbarians. In any case, it was a web of amateurs soon to be washed away by ambitions, professional authoring tools and guidelines designed by usability experts.
      The DIY-vibe and unwieldy aesthetic of the Geocities internet was beloved enough that users, upon hearing that it would be shut down, coordinated a massive effort to archive as much of it as possible—but not all was recovered. These amateur archivists realized both the scale of the loss of a significant portion of the internet but also its particulars, in the form of gifs, images, and backgrounds, along with the practices of its users, from their writing styles and layouts to the language they used to communicate. Lialina’s own work has itself gone further than mere gif collection; One Terabyte of Kilobyte Age has also interviewed the actual users of these mostly abandoned or wholly defunct communities about their tools and methods and the experience of inhabiting them. Such an archival project is not only admirable; it should be treated as an object lesson in what to do when huge corporations decide that digital services are no longer profitable, as web development technologies come and go, and more and more of the net becomes consolidated into massive, Geist-level platforms. It’s wholly unfortunate, moreover, that this rapid-response Geocities tactic hasn’t been applied to other impending collapses or extant internet ruins. The question I ask is, why? The answer can be found in a story about a battle for the soul of the internet in which the bad guys of course won.
      Internet culture historians since the mid-2000s have shown a marked distaste for the rhetoric that has guided Web 2.0, a term coined to describe the new social/participatory and interactive web of complex, pre-made user interfaces and architectures, where users became active consumers, creators, and participants of a service in which they had very little, if any, agency. In contrast, Web 1.0 required users to manually code, design, and manage their own spaces on the net and interact with others on the web in ways such as clicking links, copying an email address, or manually linking to other webpages. Lialina sees the Geocities aesthetic as being idiomatic to this Web 1.0 relationship, which joined the user to a new, exciting, naive, futuristic, and quite limited internet as a creative medium in and of itself; Web 2.0, on the other hand, erases that relationship by making the system transparent, the programmable workings of the internet—the internet as medium—a “native” thing to be “experienced” rather than explicitly interacted with. And she argues that though Web 2.0 encourages the broader, ever more interconnected amateur web population to upload, share, record, and participate at increasing rates, it does so by ensuring the erasure of the personalized, Geocities-ugly “Welcome to my Home Page” aesthetic long hated by web designers and other members of the professional class. Users, in other words, must now operate within the hell of beautiful interfaces designed by experts. TL;DR: Website Eugenics.
      Facebook vs. Tweens (and Russian Grandmothers)
      The scene of this struggle between the hideous-beautiful old internet and the cleanly if ungodly 2.0 variety played out in the mid-2000s, a transitional period that saw the first stirrings of the consolidated social media net we endure today. In these years, the proliferation of newly interactive but rather solipsistic media—such as blogs and early social media websites Myspace and LiveJournal—represented the last gasp of the “vernacular” web. Writing in 2006, Lialina says of these mediums:
      . . . it’s impossible not to notice how alike they look and how they resemble their Web 1.0 predecessors. Despite the diversity of multimedia elements, new graphics, design styles, and new tools, non-professional user pages differ from the professional ones just as clearly as a decade and a half ago.
      We didn’t know it at the time, but the cluttered facade of Myspace pages would be the dying gasp of a natively vernacular web aesthetic, one defined by a lack of restriction on what the page could or should look like. Such a degree of customization is extremely rare today (though it does manage to persist through revivalist websites like Neocities and desktop-only customized Tumblr themes). Sure, the bones of the basic Myspace page remained consistent, but much of everything else was highly modifiable. It also lent itself well to pieces of flair, such as song bytes and the then-ubiquitous glitter gifs. Lialina was right when she observed that glitter would be remembered as a trademark of this era of amateur aesthetics, similar to the “Under Construction” gifs so popular in the Geocities era.
      One of the more interesting essays from and about the late-Myspace to early-Facebook period came from danah boyd, who wrote about the class divisions inherent to certain social media platforms. It reflects the cultural attitudes from what was then the beginning of the domination of the internet by professional-class companies such as Facebook, but it also explains precisely why some users chose to abandon Myspace and the vernacular web—a place where they possessed far greater agency—in favor of the streamlined and aesthetically regulated Facebook. The answer was class aspiration, often along racial lines, a phenomenon boyd compares to the urban white flight of the mid-twentieth century. (In this analogue, Facebook plays the role of picket-fence suburbia.) The essay offers a fascinating sociological examination filled with worthy lines, but the section about glitter is particularly relevant here:
      In essence, the “glitter” produced by those who “pimp out” their MySpaces [boyd acknowledges the racialized attributes of this language] is seen by some in a positive light while others see it as “gaudy,” “tacky,” and “cluttered.” While Facebook fans loved the site’s aesthetic minimalism, others viewed this tone as “boring,” “lame,” and “elitist.”
      boyd’s essay cites the race- and class-based explanations given by young people—she interviewed many teenagers—for why they chose one social network over the other. One white teen, for instance, called Myspace a “ghetto,” and another described Facebook as “the place where the ‘honors kids’ got together and discussed how they were procrastinating over their next AP English essay.” It’s important to remember, too, that Facebook rolled out first at Harvard, and then at other Ivy League and otherwise prestigious schools before it opened to state colleges and, later, high schools; exclusivity was clearly a tactic in the early development stage, and this led to its image as a high-class, elite platform. Parents, who were often spurred by the moral panics (often racialized) surrounding inappropriate social media use on the anarchic Myspace, began to view Facebook as a cleaner, less seedy alternative for their children. As with many consumer products, Facebook’s aspirational bent aligned with users’ desires to achieve, or retain, professional class status. In choosing Facebook, these users not only relinquished the creative flexibility of Myspace, they also, we now know, forfeited their privacy.
      This split between “ghetto” and “honors student,” amateur and professional, kitsch and high-design—manifested in the Myspace/Facebook divide—would not hold out for long. Myspace was not afforded the same historical courtesy extended to Geocities, with its starry backgrounds and techno-utopian charm. This was partly because of the above-mentioned race and class biases (nobody wants to save that which is low class and uncool), but it was also because Myspace’s user-base comprised tweens and teens—young people eager to become adults. Myspace was soon to be known as “so middle school,” a shameful period in our lives that we’d all rather forget. And gone it is.
      The artifacts of internet life are personal—that is, not professionally or historically notable—and therefore worthless.
      In 2013, MySpace suddenly purged most of its users’ content, including blogs, custom profiles, videos, and posts. There was no sunset, no death announcement that would allow active users to round up their data. It was an astonishing and quietly reported loss. Nonetheless, and though whole pages of personal communication flashed out of existence in the blink of a gif, the external infrastructure, those sites used to supply Myspace pages with flair, glitter graphics, and emo-skull layouts strangely live on; though, unfortunately, they melt away like candles every year: links to images break, domains expire. (None of this should surprise us given that the average half-life of a website is a shocking two years.) These dying artifacts of Web 1.0 still offer us a priceless view of what individual and collective agency once meant on the web. Looking back at them, I’m astonished at the richness of their content, the strangeness that makes them equal to their iconic ’90s predecessors. They are the kit houses of web design, modular and adaptable, prepackaged and easy to build. Unfortunately, Facebook was just, like, easier to use.
      The emotion I felt, upon discovering that my old MySpace page was deleted (My Chemical Romance soundbite and all), but that its emo-skull layout could still be found on, was sharp—like discovering a loving card from an ex at the bottom of a junk drawer. The assumption that the attributes of Myspace were the sole domain of the tween doesn’t fit at all with the truth; many former users still care about these glittery sites because they were able to make them truly their own. When Blingee, a glitter gif-making website and community, announced it was shutting down in 2015 so that the company could launch a mobile app project, the backlash was striking—down to users’ testimonials about what the site meant for them. The outpouring caused Blingee to reevaluate its business model, and the site is still up to this day, frequented, as Olia Lialina notes, by Russian grandmothers.
      Text Effect Template by BrusheezyThe Age of App-quarius
      We forget that even by the early 2010s, the net was still relatively diverse. Before Reddit, there was Digg or There was also StumbleUpon, which at the click of a button could direct us to unforeseen and magical parts of the web. The late-aughts/early-teens period of the internet was home to some of the greatest and most creative new media out there, including a golden era of some of the most successful webcomics— Randall Munroe’s xkcd, Ryan North’s Dinosaur Comics, Zach Weinersmith’s Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (all of which are still ongoing)—as well as multimedia stories like Andrew Hussie’s Problem Sleuth and its expansive successor, Homestuck, or even more obscure but still noteworthy strips like Hark! A Vagrant and A Softer World (both of which had an enormous influence on me personally). These sites are still available, and most adapted to social media relatively easily. But the thrill of making and discovering sites is not the same. The analogue organicism of finding something is no longer there—these were sites you “stumbled upon.”
      In the age of smartphones and apps, our agency is only more limited; even what we see is limited, restricted by the proprietary designs of a small handful of companies. As for customization, it’s even worse: I can’t change how Twitter or Facebook looks on my phone. Hell, I can’t even undo what I just typed on my phone. This in part is because apps, though they may be connected to the web, are not websites. As tech writer Christopher Mims noted in 2014, apps and app stores are all about throttling the competition; unlike the web they aren’t built on a universal open platform. They are thus completely misaligned with the earlier ethos of the internet as a place for the open-ended exchange of ideas. Mims adds, “The Web wasn’t perfect, but it created a commons where people could exchange information and goods. It forced companies to build technology that was explicitly designed to be compatible with competitors’ technology.” That accountability, everyone knows, has disappeared. And this helps explain how the FAANGs grew so enormous so quickly: they got in easy and quick and held a gun to everyone else’s head. Today, roughly 90 percent of time spent on our phones is devoted to apps—not the web. The web didn’t adapt fast enough, and companies these days don’t bother wasting time on mobile browsing. They prefer to nag us into “downloading the app.”
      Because websites had to either become apps or self-optimize for mobile, web design declined from its creative, more variegated heights to become flat, highly minimalistic, and multi-platform, and the results are, frankly, fucking boring. Even sections of the web such as highly customized Tumblr blogs that do resemble the charming, amateur websites of old are, unless you go out of your way to manually open them in a new tab, assimilated into Tumblr’s infinitely scrollable “dashboard” feed—and thus rendered uniform and sterile. While there will always be a small group of original, high-design apps (the game Monument Valley comes to mind), the need to cater to a consolidated group of developers—especially Apple or Google, the two major smartphone operating system providers—gives us little room for variety or originality; even the apps and platforms themselves have lost their early skeuomorphic charm. And beyond the tedium of minimalist design, the abandonment of the desktop web for mobile apps has inevitably had other far-reverberating consequences for the net at large.
      The scene of this struggle between the hideous-beautiful old internet and the cleanly if ungodly 2.0 variety played out in the mid-2000s.
      Flash, to name just one example—which was a huge player in the early explosion of entertainment on the net, from websites that aggregated embedded Flash-based, arcade-style video games like those developed by Miniclip or CoolMath4Kids to earlier web projects like Homestar Runner—was not supported by the iPhone or Android, and this led to its rapid “obsolescence.” Flash’s relegation to the trashcan of internet history highlights one of the more daunting tasks for internet users and preservationists, upon whom the onus of responsibility for reacting to the sometimes terrifyingly sudden decisions of huge tech conglomerates and their ensuing monocultures is placed. These companies and platforms operate in part by devouring, appropriating, monetizing, exterminating, or burying on the 112th page of search results anything on the web that is even remotely interesting—especially anything amateur, anything ad hoc-ist. There is more and more an ethic of false equivalency between virality and substance (and I say that as someone whose blog went viral). Hence, they think, because this stuff isn’t profitable, it must mean nobody wants to see it; and so nobody does. Non-virality and false obsolescence, when combined with link rot—the natural atrophy of links across time—have led to the quiet erasure of entire swaths of the internet.
      Breaking the Vaporwaves
      Returning to an earlier part of this essay, I open Instagram, an app that distills so much of what makes everything about this whole web-dying situation nauseating and sad. The Instagram Story of me, with the blinking “My Computer” and glitter text gifs is still there, a draft, not yet posted. I look pissed off in the photo. Nostalgia, I’m reminded, is profitable—it remains one of the easiest to execute and cheapest grifts of neoliberal culture.
      To this end, a passage from my eternal fav, Fredric Jameson’s Post-modernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, provides a bit of theory about our constant recycling of the past. I’ve included my own annotations:
      For with the collapse of the high-modernist ideology of style—what is as unique and unmistakable as your own fingerprints, as incomparable as your own body [e.g. MySpace, Geocities pages] . . . the producers of culture [big Internet companies] have nowhere to turn but to the past: the imitation of dead styles [glitter graphics, Geocities], speech through all the masks and voices stored up in the imaginary museum of a now global culture [the whole internet].
      Amazing, isn’t it, how Jameson, writing in 1991, predicted the presence of Windows 95 gifs in my Instagram story? Except it’s not that simple: there’s an intermediate step in this process, and it’s one that offers important lessons for those who aim to subvert the media status quo. That step is called vaporwave.
      Vaporwave, an aesthetic movement dating from the early- to mid-2010s, is a fascinating study in the futility of critical artistic movements in the face of contemporary capitalism. Forgive me for sidestepping the highly nuanced musical examples of the genre, (imagine chillwave, mall Muzak, and ’80s synthpop crossed with glitch music) which have proven more resilient to commercial co-optation, to focus instead on the visual aspects of vaporwave, which have not been so successful. Vaporwave, in the most general sense, is the often critical, ironic, or satirical appropriation of ’80s and ’90s cultural symbols—from Muzak and Kenny G-style sax riffs to teal-and-pink mall atriums, from cyberpunk to Memphis Milano, from palm trees and sunglasses, to, of course, Geocities gifs. A 2016 article about the genre in Esquire lists “cynicism about capitalism, sarcastic takes on the unachieved utopias of previous decades, consumerism, escapism, globalization, etc.” as the prevailing raisons d’être of vaporwave, later claiming that the name is a hybridization of “vaporware” (a term for products that are heavily advertised and promoted only to never be released) and waves of vapor, a reference to the all-too-famous Karl Marx quote (“All that is solid melts into air”). It’s an ironic, embittered genre that asks: What if the utopian innocence of those early Geocities websites had survived, and what if we all lived in chill, pastel, communal harmony? What makes vaporwave so distinct, other than its dubiously Marxist undertones, is that it is utopian and therefore against the grain of the modern mania for dystopian thought. Vaporwave was a new version of a recent past, a simulacrum; it was like a hitting “Save” instead of “Save As . . .” version of the 1990s—an overwritten file, a copy, but one for which no original exists.
      Still, the visual remnants of vaporwave have long outlasted its radical ideological underpinnings. Almost immediately, its pastel, geometric, softcore aesthetics were gobbled up by media platforms, in particular the image-driven platforms Tumblr and Instagram. The pastiche compositions of Arizona Iced Tea cans and old Windows desktops were very quickly made available on all these commercial interfaces, which were not only feeding on a countercultural art movement—they were likewise consuming the ghosts of an internet they had long since murdered. The critique offered by vaporwave—its defiant sense of utopia—was immediately and effectively erased, leaving only a commodified, nostalgic aesthetic. And this aesthetic detritus, its millennial pink, Memphis-esque shapes and squiggles made entirely for Instagram, became cold, devoid of joy and playfulness, something the Consumer Aesthetic Research Institute, an ad hoc, Discord-based volunteer group which runs a popular series of blogs and Facebook pages cataloging various aesthetic tendencies across the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s, simply calls the “bougie design aesthetic.”
      Jameson, as I’ve mentioned, saw this coming, and he teaches us a fairly succinct lesson about the demise of vaporwave:
      This omnipresence of pastiche is not incompatible with a certain humor, however, nor is it innocent of all passion: it is at the least compatible with addiction—with a whole historically original consumers’ appetite for a world transformed into sheer images of itself. . . . It is for such objects that we may reserve Plato’s conception of the “simulacrum”. . . Appropriately enough, the culture of the simulacrum comes to life in a society where exchange value has been generalized to the point at which the very memory of use value is effaced, a society of which Guy Debord has observed, in an extraordinary phrase, that in it “the image has become the final form of commodity reification.”
      If Guy Debord, in other words, had lived to see Instagram, he would have absolutely lost his gourd. I barely need to mention the dark side of the platform, the side that leaves people lining up for hours just to get a selfie, that has changed how we design products, furniture, even buildings and neighborhoods—all of this is well-documented. What is not so obvious is the way Instagram recycles the original aesthetics, indeed the political ethos, that arose from vaporwave and even the early internet itself, into a decontextualized set of images: the internet has become nostalgia in search of a platform.
      Revenge of the Old Internet?
      It’s generally accepted, especially after the election of Donald Trump, that the bad things about the contemporary internet pretty much outweigh the good (a state of affairs that will only worsen with the FCC’s ruling on net neutrality). Facebook, that sleek, posh-lite service that robbed us from our cradles in the late aughts, is no longer the aspirational, professional-class status symbol it once was. Instead, it is roundly vilified for the role it played in the election of far-right idiots and parties to positions of power, its misuse of users’ data through companies like Cambridge Analytica, its generally hapless promotion of fake news and hate speech, its whimsical annihilation of journalism—all for a quick thirty-nine billion or so in ad revenue. “The Social Network” is known now as a “Racist Boomerland.” No wonder 44 percent of people ages 18-29 have deleted the app this year. Facebook is, in a phrase, “so high school”; however, unlike “so middle school” Myspace, the slow death of Facebook is infinitely more justified. Though there are elements of Facebook worth saving, its demise also leaves much less of a scar behind—no “Pimp-My-Profile” pages or glitter gif databases. As it happens, most gif integration on Facebook comes by way of faceless third party apps. It’s true that Facebook controls your data; meanwhile, you control not a single element of Facebook. Nothing about your account is different or more special than anyone else’s. Even those annoying games, such as Farmville or Mafia Wars or Words With Friends, that seemed so endemic to Facebook, have all but evaporated from our collective consciousness.
      Nostalgia, I’m reminded, is profitable—it remains one of the easiest to execute and cheapest grifts of neoliberal culture.
      What is particularly fascinating is how the once-minimal, professional-class Facebook is now falling prey to the clutter and kitsch that careened Myspace into the black hole of uncoolness. On websites more densely populated by young people, such as Twitter, Tumblr, and Reddit, there are whole communities devoted to mocking the crudely made image macros obviously fabricated and circulated by old people on Facebook, especially those featuring characters such as the Minions from the Despicable Me animated film franchise superimposed with extremely out-of-context quotes. The Twitter accounts “Cursed Boomer Images” and “Absurd Conservamemes” post fresh outpourings from the depths of poorly designed, politically noxious, brainworm-ridden Facebook depravity. The proliferation of new features, such as color and picture backgrounds for posts; whole panels of choices for reacting to posts instead of the singular “like”; stickers for comments; “frames,” which are essentially stickers for your profile picture (a weird offshoot of the Blingees of old)—all these show that the aesthetic of Facebook is rapidly cluttering.
      It’s important to note here the subversive, deliberately ugly aesthetics of so-called “Weird Facebook” groups, with titles like “Please show to Jim ! ! HA ! ! HA ! !” or “we are all god’s children and he left us in a hot car.” These groups are devoted to niche or surrealist humor, usually mocking the rest of the site’s aging denizens, and often rooted in a similarly vague (and deeply irony-poisoned) anti-consumerist or anti-capitalist ideology as vaporwave. As with vaporwave’s relation to elevator music or Windows 95, Weird Facebook subverts and exaggerates certain technological traits of the aging platform (i.e. Facebook) for the purpose of parody or criticism. These groups use highly compressed, lo-fi jpeg collages for headers and profile pictures, and create extremely ugly frames (which you can use on your own Facebook profile picture). All within the strict confines of Facebook’s UI. Put another way, these pages deliberately uglify Facebook, rendering a once sleek user interface deconstructed and amateurish, appending it with a Myspace-esque look, exposing aesthetically the control Facebook has lost both over its content and its brand image. These are the raucous, perhaps final stirrings of youth on a platform that is as overcrowded and pungent with old person smell as a visiting school choir performance at the Kiwanis Club.
      It’s about time for a little revenge from the old internet. Or how about revenge from the older, older internet: communism. In the words of Marx: “All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify.” All that is solid melts into air, bitch."
  • 2019-01-03 YQL per
    As of Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, the YQL service at will be retired. This will impact users of
  • Killed by Google – The Google Graveyard & Cemetery by @codyogden @google #killedbygoogle desktop PyPortal version