"We have decided to discontinue the process of allowing new customers to sign up for GeoCities accounts as we focus on helping our customers explore and build new relationships online in other ways," Yahoo said in a statement posted on its help page.
The GeoCities help page advises current account users that they can continue to use the service until the summer. "We'll provide more details about closing GeoCities and how to save your site data this summer, and we will update the help center with more details at that time," the help page states.
Yahoo does not offer another free hosting service. The company is suggesting that users consider the Yahoo Web Hosting service, which seems to be offering two different prices, depending on where you look. The Q&A page links to an offer of $4.99 a month for 12 months and then $9.95 a month thereafter. The GeoCities home page, however, has an ad that lists the same service as being $5.98 for the first three months and then $11.95 thereafter.
The trimming is part of a process that started while Jerry Yang was still chief executive and has accelerated under new CEO Carol Bartz, who was hired in January. The company is also closing Yahoo Briefcase, Farechase, My Web, RSS ads, Yahoo Pets, Yahoo Live, Kickstart and Yahoo For Teachers. Yahoo acquired GeoCities in 1999.