If you were an early adopter of the Internet it’s almost a given that you had a Yahoo email address, and very possibly a My Yahoo page to go along with it. However in the last decade, Yahoo has faded away to the point of obscurity, and has joined legions of other failed Internet projects that have lost favour.
Let’s take a look at 5 other Internet projects that flopped, and have made their way to the digital graveyard of fallen giants.
A vintage version of Facebook, Myspace was very possibly the forerunner of what social media is today. Established in August 2003 Myspace started out as a social networking site that offered users an interactive experience where they could create their own customizable page, network with friends, and share photos, music, videos and blog posts. Sadly this social media site failed to keep up with the times and as the Internet evolved, it stayed stagnant. In 2011 it was sold for $35 million, a fraction of its once estimated $580 million worth, and is now largely a music site, with its original purpose mostly forgotten.
Founded in 1994, Netscape was around at a time when dial up connections in Canada were the norm, and there was only one other web browser that offered any real competition. Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer were in a constant battle for the top spot and went to great lengths to try and outdo one another. In 1998 AOL bought Netscape, which was then struggling to compete with the slew of newer browsers that had made their appearance, and within a few short months they had closed it down. Few may know however that Netscape Navigator laid the groundwork for Mozilla Firefox, one of Canada’s most popular browsers today.
Napster was possibly the most forward thinking of all Internet based projects, as at a time when the CD ruled the roost, it was already promoting digital music. Napster was designed as a free peer-to-peer music sharing service that would allow users to give each other access to MP3’s. The service was quite rapidly shut down as it was deemed illegal due to copyright infringements, and it was only around for 2 years, but made a huge impression in that time. There have been many Internet-based and tech projects that have fallen by the wayside, but Napster certainly paved the way for the future of digital music and changed the way people shared and listened to their favourite songs. A similar service, Grooveshark ran for 11 years from 2006- 2015 and this online music streaming service was also shut down due to legal and copyright issues.
In 1995, before Google, Alta Vista was the reigning Internet search company in Canada and across the globe. This search engine quickly gained favour and indexed the largest number of pages, but internal instabilities affected its growth and performance, and after 5 years of being ping ponged between owners, Yahoo purchased it. Yahoo based all Alta Vista searches on its own engine and in 2013 the service was completely shut down, making it yet another casualty of the brand, and a victim of the .com bubble bursting.
When we think of Google we ultimately think of success, but this brand has a huge number of failed projects that have paved the way for their ultimate accomplishments. Picasa was one of these failures, and much like PhotoBucket; it has been regaled to the annals of the past. In 2004 Google purchased Picasa for an undisclosed amount and invited its users to share, organise and edit their photos online. However several years later, Google decided that Picasa had become a bit of a white elephant and retired it, replacing it instead with Google Photos in 2015. Google Photos is a vast improvement on Picasa, and allows users to backup an unlimited number of images to the cloud, and incorporates features such as facial recognition. It proves once more that it is essential to move with the times, or get left behind.