Yahoo! has announced that its 360! service will be shutting down by July 12, 2009.
Though 360 gained a strong core of loyal users (you) who enjoyed the service, Yahoo! has been reprioritizing some products to help us deliver the best possible experiences to consumers. The decision to close Yahoo! 360 and transition users to profiles is part of this larger strategy, but we had been waiting until we had an alternative solution that we could offer to our community of Yahoo! 360 users until we officially shut down 360.
This might not exactly be big news to most of the world, but for regions where 360 is the preferred blogging and social networking application of choice, like in Vietnam, this could be cause for concern and headache. Yahoo! will provide a way to migrate blog content to a Yahoo! profile. But of course, it’s not the same thing. The functionality will likely be different. Also, if your blog has already been optimized on the search engines and saved on peoples’ bookmarks and RSS readers, you will definitely lose readership.
This makes me wonder: how sure are you with your service providers like blogging applications, lifestreaming services, and the like? Many of us rely on WordPress.com, Twitter.com and other free or paid hosted services to run our blogs, save our thoughts, and practically store our memories. Maybe the bigger, more popular companies don’t run the risk of folding up. But the smaller, niche service providers might be riskier. Does this mean everyone should just go with one service like everyone else? Or maybe it’s best to run a self-hosted blog.
Yahoo! 360 will not be missed, except perhaps in Vietnam. Maybe this is one big reason Yahoo! has decided (since 2007) to end support and ultimately pull the plug. It’s probably not cost-effective to maintain a big service when it’s only patronized in one niche or regional market. But then again, Yahoo! could have probably just focused its resources on that particular market, just like how other services like Friendster are doing. The only consolation of big users, at least, is that content can be migrated into a Yahoo! account, and this should likely be hassle-free.
Are your web apps future-proof? Or is there no such thing?