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The incredible shrinking Yahoo

Poor Yahoo. Once, it towered over the internet like a colossus. Nowadays, though it still has plenty of visitors, no-one's really sure what it's for. Like Dean Acheson said about Britain after World War 2, Yahoo has lost an empire but has not yet found a role.

Ahem. Well, something like that. In fairness, Yahoo is slowly trimming its fat and focusing itself on the more successful parts of its massive product portfolio. A couple of days ago, it made 500 staff redundant, and in the last couple of years it's abandoned its search engine (in favour of using Microsoft's) and closed its web hosting service GeoCities, its file backup service Briefcase, its European web directories, and more.

So far, it's managed to do this without particularly annoying anyone. But this might be trickier: it's closing down it's YouTube rival, Yahoo Videos.

Actually, technically it's not closing Videos, as it'll continue to exist as a home for professional videos like movie trailers. What it's doing is closing the site to new videos from regular users, and removing all the user-generated content in March next year. Users have till then to use a specially-provided tool to download their videos.

Now, look, realistically, we can't believe there are that many people uploading videos to Yahoo on a regular basis. Between YouTube and Facebook, that market is surely sewed up. Still, it'll be interesting to see if Yahoo takes any heat from its users for taking away a facility which we guess somebody must use.

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