Yahoo to Retire Maps and Pipes as It Narrows Its Focus

As Yahoo narrows its focus, the once-reigning Web company prepares to shed some services and regional offerings.


Yahoo is shutting down Maps.

Nearly three years into Yahoo's reinvention under CEO Marissa Mayer, formerly a high-ranking Google executive, the company is shuttering some services including Maps. In a second-quarter progress report posted on Tumblr on June 4—Yahoo acquired Tumblr for $1.1 billion in 2013—chief architect Amotz Maimon announced that Yahoo is closing down its Maps site at the end of June.

The technology will linger, however.

Highlighting the web of integrations that hold many online services and applications together, Maimon said that "in the context of Yahoo search and on several other Yahoo properties including Flickr, we will continue to support maps. We made this decision to better align resources to Yahoo's priorities as our business has evolved since we first launched Yahoo Maps eight years ago."

GeoPlanet and PlaceSpotter, two location-based application programming interfaces (APIs), are also being retired, but developers have alternatives.

"The functionality provided by these APIs are available today through Yahoo Query Language (YQL) and BOSS. Information on how to migrate the APIs is available on the websites for YQL (non-commercial usage with rate limited to 2,000 queries per day, per table, per app ID) and BOSS (commercial usage)," Maimon explained.

The BOSS API, short for Build your Own Search Service, provides access to Yahoo Web, image and news search. BOSS Geo services offer much of the same functionality currently provided by the old APIs.

Yahoo's new priorities are search, communications and digital content, he said. Products that don't fit neatly into those buckets may not be long for this world.

Focusing on those three areas "includes taking a hard look at our existing products and services, and ensuring our resources are spent smartly and with a clear purpose," Maimon said. "Ultimately, we want to provide you with the best products, platforms and experiences possible."

Also on the chopping block is Pipes, the company's Web feed aggregation application that allows users to display mashups consisting of multiple data sources. This summer, Yahoo will begin turning off the spigot.

"Pipes creation will not be supported as of Aug. 30 this year," Maimon said. "Pipes infrastructure will run until Sept. 30, 2015 in read-only mode to help developers migrate their data."

Users of older Apple hardware are also in danger of losing access to some Yahoo services. On June 15, the company will stop supporting Yahoo Mail on Apple's built-in Mail app for iPhones and iPads running system software older than iOS 5, which was released in late 2011. Also on June 15, Yahoo Contacts will no longer support Macs running OS X 10.7 and earlier.

Finally, the company is pulling the plug on "regional, genre-specific media properties to streamline our editorial offering," revealed Maimon. "The content from these sites will be redistributed across the Yahoo network." Affected sites include Yahoo Music in France and Canada, Movies in Spain and Entertainment in Singapore, among several others.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...