Angela Lang/CNET

It’s over. On May four, Yahoo Answers went offline, placing a finish to one associated with the weirdest, oldest plus least organized communities associated with crowdsourced questions and solutions. The site’s seemingly unlimited parade of user-submitted questions ranged from intriguing idea experiments (from the loves associated with Stephen Hawking, no less) to the absurdity of someone asking the neighborhood, “What did my father just tell me?”


Why do you think anyone on the internet would certainly know this?


Yahoo Answers screenshot by CNET/Sean Buckley

Yahoo Answers became well known as a home intended for a very specific model of chaos. Some questions became famous memes unto themselves. Others became standards upon “top ten funniest” Yahoo Answers questions. The community grew to become a rich mine associated with material for YouTube comedians, even PewDiePie. Famous podcasters used Yahoo Answers as the source for inspiration as well: Dissecting weird questions had been a regular segment upon My Brother, My Brother and Me

Yahoo Answers had the legacy. Just not the particular one it was made to have.

CNET Culture

Entertain your mind with the particular coolest news from loading in order to superheroes, memes to video games.

What Yahoo Answers had been supposed to be 

When Yahoo launched its question-and-answer system in 2005, becoming the mainstay of internet humor wasn’t section of the plan. The company billed the services as “a place exactly where people can ask every other questions on any kind of topic, and get solutions by sharing facts, views and personal experiences.” Even so, Yahoo Answers failed to exist for its very own sake — it had been created to help strengthen Yahoo Search results. 


Yahoo Answers screenshot by CNET / Sean Buckley

It can be simple to forget how important Yahoo was previously. It had been a big company along with social communities, email, web directories and, of course, the greatest search engine in the particular world. In 2005, nevertheless it was facing brutal competition. The hope is that Yahoo Answers could make the particular company’s internet search engine better simply by offering users millions associated with crowdsourced answers to the query they might have. 


A tech support common.


Yahoo Answers screenshot by CNET / Sean Buckley

“Long term, Answers has the potential in order to attract incremental users, raise time spent on the particular Yahoo! Platform,” Lehman Brothers analyst Douglas Anmuth told Forbes soon after the service launched, “and create monetization possibilities through additional sponsored hyperlinks and page views.” 

Yahoo Answers was never truly regarding the answers, which can be why the support was best known intended for the questions people requested. 

What Yahoo Answers became

Regardless associated with what Yahoo Answers was created in order to be, it’s best recognized for the surprising plus ridiculous questions people requested it. In fact, prior to news broke of the particular shutdown, most looks for Yahoo Answers on Google, YouTube plus other platforms brought back again lists of absurd plus amusing ponderings.

There are usually lots of comedy videos mocking Yahoo Answers’ weirdest questions, plus teasing these often too-personal questions will forever end up being a part of the particular service’s legacy. Despite the particular jokes, the platform in fact got type of close in order to what it was made to become. More earnest lookups could lead you in order to awkward, but innocent queries about growing up plus human development — probably the queries of those as well embarrassed to ask their particular parents. Lots of customers were seeking household maintenance tips and tech assistance. 

Some questions had been just students trying in order to get the internet in order to “help” with their research.


When you really failed to feel like doing all your very own homework, Yahoo Answers was now there.


Yahoo Answers screenshot by CNET / Sean Buckley

Although system was created to augment Yahoo’s lookup engine, the site’s functions helped it find its weird identity once that will searchable trove of information became less of the priority for your company. Question askers could pick the particular best response to a question, which would assist the individual writing that solution earn points to stage up within an internal rating system. The points plus level didn’t actually perform anything, but it assisted create a sense associated with community.

That sense associated with community is one associated with the things that produced Yahoo Answers interesting. When this launched in late 2006, it debuted alongside numerous of today’s internet leaders. Facebook and Reddit had been both still within their childhood, and Twitter was just months away. Yahoo Answers was not built to compete along with some of these networks, but this filled some similar tasks. At a period when customers online were moving aside from traditional message panel systems and chat areas, Yahoo Answers was there — serving being a half-step among the internet communities associated with the late 1990s as well as the social media empires that will were going to take more than the web.


Yahoo Answers screenshot by CNET / Sean Buckley

Some Yahoo Answers users were just learning about growing up.


Yahoo Answers screenshot by CNET / Sean Buckley

It’s one aspect associated with the service that made it to the end. Browsing Yahoo Answers’ categories in its last days still surfaced a lot of standard questions searching for answers (“Can u compose on money,” or even “How should i get the grease stain away from concrete”), but you could furthermore get the same discussions you needed expect on Reddit. These vary from new parents requesting within the parenting forum exactly what people considered the title of their child, or even political partisans debating the particular latest headlines in the particular politics and news areas. 

Yahoo Answers as well as the web afterlife

After May 4, the Yahoo question-and-answer service will go the way of GeoCities. There’ll be no public attempts to preserve or even archive the service. Unless another group takes motion, Yahoo Answers’ millions of queries — chaotic, hilarious plus sublime — will end up being lost to time. 


Yahoo Answers screenshot by CNET / Sean Buckley

Fortunately, this is actually the web, where there’s always somebody happy to preserve the bizarre database of awful spelling and weird queries — even if this might not be well worth saving. When Yahoo announced it had been shutting the service lower, Gizmodo wrote that this developed script that would certainly archive 84 million Yahoo Answers questions towards the Internet Archive, yet admitted it would get two years to finish the particular process. Fortunately, a team called Archive Team started the similar project back within 2016

A big portion of Yahoo Answers’ openly available questions already are supported up, and the group made archiving the relaxation their “warrior project” concentrate for spring 2021. For better or worse, Yahoo Answers’ weird legacy will end up being preserved on the Internet Archive

Unfortunately, the aged pages’ search function does not currently work, but a minimum of we’ll always have almost all those MBMBAM segments