Yahoo! Groups
Yahoo! Groups is one of the world’s largest collections of online discussion boards. The term Groups refers to Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 communication which is a hybrid between an electronic mailing list
Electronic mailing list
An electronic mailing list is a special usage of email that allows for widespread distribution of information to many Internet users. It is similar to a traditional mailing list — a list of names and addresses — as might be kept by an organization for sending publications to...

 and a threaded Internet forum
Internet forum
An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. They differ from chat rooms in that messages are at least temporarily archived...

, in other words, Group messages can be read and posted by e-mail
Electronic mail, commonly known as email or e-mail, is a method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients. Modern email operates across the Internet or other computer networks. Some early email systems required that the author and the recipient both be online at the...

 or on the Group's webpage like a web forum. In addition, members can choose whether to receive individual, daily digest or Special Delivery e-mails, or simply read Group posts on the Group’s web site. Groups can be created with public or member-only access. Some Groups are simply announcement bulletin boards, to which only the Group moderator
Moderator often refers to the chairman of a meeting. Specifically, it may refer to:-Government:*Moderator , elected official who presides over the Town Meeting form of government-Internet:...

s can post, while others are discussion forums. The variations of Yahoo Groups are virtually endless.

As well as providing e-mail
Electronic mail, commonly known as email or e-mail, is a method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients. Modern email operates across the Internet or other computer networks. Some early email systems required that the author and the recipient both be online at the...

 relaying and archiving facilities for the many Groups it hosts, the Yahoo! Groups service provides additional facilities for each Group web site, such as a homepage, message archive, polls, calendar announcements, files, photos, database functions, and bookmarks.

It is not necessary to register with Yahoo! in order to participate in Yahoo Groups. The basic mailing list functionality is available to any e-mail address, but a Yahoo! ID is required to access some other features.


Yahoo! Groups was launched in early 2001 as an integration of technology from and community groups from both and Yahoo! Clubs.


Yahoo! Clubs was launched in 1998 as a logical extension of services that had already been developed by Yahoo - message. Unlike previous Yahoo products, this product was designed to allow much deeper levels of user control over creation, membership and overall direction of communities. Development was led by Doug Hirsch
(product management) and Matt Jackson  (lead engineer), both of whom have since left the company. Yahoo! Clubs quickly grew to be one of the largest traffic-generating products within the Yahoo! network of services.


In August 2000, Yahoo acquired
EGroups was an email list management web site. The site allowed users to create their own mailing lists and allowed others to sign up for membership on the list. The web site provided archives of the messages as well as list management functionality. Each group also had a shared calendar, file...

, one of the most popular group collaboration products at the time. About eight months later, the new Yahoo! Groups product was launched which merged and Yahoo! Clubs. The resulting product is typically one of the Top-five page-view-generating sites across the Yahoo network.

Yahoo! Groups functionality remained static between 2000 and 2005. In 2001 Yahoo! deleted adult groups from its search directory, making it very difficult to locate Yahoo! groups with adult content. A Yahoo! user who wishes to find a group with adult content must therefore either know the exact name of the group, or attempt to find it by using a search engine or one of several online adult group directories. This has created what some view as an "underground" atmosphere for Yahoo! adult groups. While it is unclear whether the intention of Yahoo! was to diminish the number or merely the easy availability of these groups, adult groups on Yahoo! have continued to increase. In 2005, a revived ability to generate revenue through targeted search-related advertising resulted in renewed interest, which has slowly received new features since then.

Yahoo Answers module

In 2006 Yahoo Groups introduced an option to add a Yahoo! Answers
Yahoo! Answers
Yahoo! Answers is a community-driven question-and-answer site or a knowledge market launched by Yahoo! on June 28, 2005 that allows users to both submit questions to be answered and answer questions asked by other users...

at the bottom of group homepages. Group managers can control whether the module will appear on their Group homepage and if so, the type of Yahoo! Answers category to be included. However, this option has been removed in the Groups Remodel of 2010.

Advanced Message Search

Also in 2006, Yahoo Groups introduced an improved message search that includes an Advanced Message Search allowing a search by on any combination of message date, author, subject and message body.
The Advanced Message Search also disappeared in Groups Remodel of 2010


On October 2008 Yahoo introduced a new universal Yahoo! Profile replacing the Group profiles and Yahoo! 360 Profiles, both of which were utilized by Group members prior to this introduction. The use of "adult" profiles was discontinued at that time.
On June 7, 2010 Yahoo! announced that the universal Yahoo Profile has been replaced by Yahoo! Pulse.

Posting from the Owner Address

This new feature was announced on Nov 19, 2009.
It allows Group managers to post messages to their Group from a Group Owner’s email address. Before this new feature was introduced, Group managers had to use their personal address even when making official Group announcements.

Forward button removed from Yahoo! Groups

On Feb 4, 2010, the Yahoo! Groups team announced that the Forward feature had been removed from the web interface. The removal of this feature was announced as a spam-fighting counter-measure. The team claimed that spammers had been misusing the Forward feature to mail Group messages to up to 50 recipients each time.

Groups Updates Email

The Groups Updates Email feature was introduced In 2010. It allows YG members to check in one email all the updates that occur every twenty four hours in all their Groups, and helps moderators keep spam out. The items can be new photos, links, files, polls, applications, application entries, applications comments, members (but only for groups with fewer than 100 members), and database tables. Members can choose to turn on/off the ability to receive this daily email.

Yahoo Groups remodel

In September 2010 a major facelift was rolled out, making Yahoo groups look very similar to Facebook. However, several key features were removed, notably the ability to respond directly to the sender of a message rather than the group, and the ability to use a Rich Text editor. The first of these changes would dramatically impact the ability of many groups such as Freegle and Freecycle to keep functioning, affecting over 9 million users worldwide. The second would affect many RPG groups and collaborative fiction
Collaborative fiction
Collaborative fiction is a form of writing by a group of authors who share creative control of a story.Collaborative fiction can occur for commercial gain, as part of education, or recreationally - many collaboratively written works have been the subject of a large degree of academic research.-...

 projects, as they often use different font colours to distinguish story threads or individual authors.

Other features removed included the Expanded view of the Message Archives, which allowed users to read messages in chronological order from top to bottom; the message history grid on the Home page, a table which showed the number of messages posted by month and year (this was useful for prospective members wanting an idea of a group's activity level); automatic quoting of the original message in replies posted via the group's website; the option of viewing ASCII art, computer programs and tables in messages as plain text in a fixed-width font; the ability for ordinary members (non-moderators) to view the HTML source code of a message (helpful to members and moderators in tracking trolling attempts); and compatibility with any browser not supporting advanced JavaScript, including browsers in mobile phones, PDAs and the like. Because of the new interface's much greater reliance on visual as opposed to text elements, accessibility issues for blind and visually impaired users with screen-reading software were also anticipated.

Group Deletion program announced on Yahoo! Groups Blog

On November 11, 2010 the Yahoo Groups Team announced house cleaning to start the following week. According to the ygroups blog this would involve deleting any Group that is more than six month old and contains no Messages, Photos or Files

Group Chat Beta

On February 1, 2011 the Yahoo! Groups Team announced the launch of a Beta version of Groups Chat

Yahoo! Groups Directory

The current Yahoo! Groups Directory organizes groups in these main categories:

  • Animals
  • Business & Finance
  • Computers & Internet

  • Games
  • Government & Politics
  • Health & Wellness
  • Hobbies & Crafts
  • Music
  • Recreation & Sports

  • Regional
  • Religion & Beliefs
  • Romance & Relationships
  • Schools & Education
  • Science

There is a Yahoo! Groups search box available at the Yahoo! Groups homepage. The search function currently provides these options for sorting the results by:
  • Best match
  • Number of group members
  • Age of group (newest first)
  • Age of group (oldest first)

Joining a group or directory listing

A group receives a web address and an email address when it is created and can be listed in one of the Yahoo! Groups directory categories if desired. Groups listed in the Yahoo! Groups directory can also be found via a Yahoo! Groups search.

New members can join groups directly, or may be invited by a moderator to join. Some groups have restricted memberships, which allow group managers to accept or reject new members. Some groups are closed and allow only members who have been directly invited by a group manager to join the group.

Yahoo! Groups also includes so-called adult groups, however, these groups are not publicly listed in the Yahoo! Groups directory and access to them is restricted. People wanting to visit an adult group receive an "adult content" warning and must agree to it each time a member visits the group.

Feature list

Each new group created at Yahoo! Groups allows the creator (group owner) to have several features attached to the group.
Some of the features can be selected for "off", moderator, members, public. Here is the complete list of possible group features:
  • Group members
    • Messages
      Internet forum
      An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. They differ from chat rooms in that messages are at least temporarily archived...

      : Post via web or email to group. No edit function except delete.
    • Photo album (100GB): Organized into album/thumbnail structure.
    • File storage (100MB): Capable of storing any file format.
    • Link directory: Options for folders, text labels for each link.
    • Poll: Members can create multiple-choice polls, including various options for ID display.
    • Database: Up to ten tables, each with up to one thousand rows and up to ten columns.
    • Member list: Scroll of registered member profiles, and the basics of the information they provide.
    • Calendar: Scheduling system for clubs with regular events.
    • Promote: HTML box for website display (to join a group).

  • Administration (owners or managers who can do post approval)
    • Invite: to invite more members by email.
    • Management of members (approve new members, delete members).
    • Management of messages (approve new messages, delete messages).
    • Options: Edit of the group homepage display text etc.
    • Post approval: It is possible to switch to strict moderation if required.
    • Web tools management: Options are off, public, members, administrators.

In 2006, Yahoo! discontinued the chat feature in Yahoo! Groups. On Feb 1, 2011 Yahoo! Groups launched a beta version of Group Chat.

Message search 2009

As of February 20, 2009 the search feature for messages stopped working. The official Yahoo! Groups blog stated that Yahoo was working to fix the problem, the search feature has not been restored to all groups yet.

Yahoo Groups remodel 2010

On August 31, 2010, Yahoo Groups started rolling out a major software change. This change was denounced by a vast majority of users. On September 29, 2010, Jim Stoneham, Vice President of Yahoo!’s Communities products, announced that based on members feedback Yahoo Groups will be rolling back the recent changes. The loud protests of Yahoo Group members prompted Yahoo’s CEO Carol Bartz
Carol Bartz
Carol Ann Bartz is an American business executive, the former president and CEO of the Internet services company Yahoo!, and former chairman, president, and CEO at architectural and engineering design software company Autodesk....

 to tell USA Today
USA Today
USA Today is a national American daily newspaper published by the Gannett Company. It was founded by Al Neuharth. The newspaper vies with The Wall Street Journal for the position of having the widest circulation of any newspaper in the United States, something it previously held since 2003...

 during an interview that Yahoo will be letting Group users pick whether they want to stay with the old-formatted Groups or join the new-formatted [remodelled] Groups. (Play video) The remodel was completely abandoned on January 12, 2011.

Site statistics

In August 2008 YG staff reported 113 million users, 9 million Groups, and availability in 22 languages.

The web analytics website Quantcast
Quantcast is a California based company that provides publishers and marketers with the ability to understand, deliver and reach their best audiences at a massive scale...

 reported around 915 thousand unique visitors to the YG website(US) daily in July 2010. In January 2011 this number increased to 933 thousand unique visitors daily. This number does not include YG members who access the Groups site via email.

In Sept 2010 at its "Product Runway" event, Yahoo told reporters that Yahoo Groups has 115 million Group members and 10 million Yahoo Groups.

See also

  • Google Groups
    Google Groups
    Google Groups is a service from Google Inc. that supports discussion groups, including many Usenet newsgroups, based on common interests. The service was started in 1995 as Deja News, and was transitioned to Google Groups after a February 2001 buyout....

  • GroupSpaces
    GroupSpaces is a London-based online company that provides technology to help real-world clubs, societies, associations and other groups manage their membership and activities, and promote themselves online...

    Meetup is an online social networking portal that facilitates offline group meetings in various localities around the world. Meetup allows members to find and join groups unified by a common interest, such as politics, books, games, movies, health, pets, careers or hobbies...

  • MSN Groups
    MSN Groups
    MSN Groups was a website part of the MSN network which hosted online communities, and which contained Web pages, hosted images, and contained a message board...

  • Windows Live Groups
    Windows Live Groups
    Windows Live Groups is an online service by Microsoft as part of its Windows Live range of services that enable users to create their social groups for sharing, discussion and coordination.-Features:...

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.