On Thursday, August 26, Yahoo India users were in for a shock as they read about the company's shutting-down news on the main search page.
The web service provider that served India's netizens for more than two decades had to shut shop due to the new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) regulations. However, the American web company has announced that it is only closing its content portals including Yahoo News, Yahoo Cricket, Finance, Entertainment and MAKERS India. The decision will not affect existing email account holders and search engine users.
"As of August 26, 2021, Yahoo India will no longer be publishing content. Your Yahoo Account, Mail and Search experiences will not be affected in any way and will operate as usual," a statement on Yahoo India homepage read.
The FAQ section revealing more details stated, "We did not come to this decision lightly. However, Yahoo India has been impacted by changes to regulatory laws in India that now limit the foreign ownership of media companies that operate and publish digital content in India. Yahoo has had a long association with India and we're really proud of the premium, local content we have provided our users here for the last 20 years."
Down the memory lane
Following the news, netizens took to their social media to express nostalgia associated with Yahoo, which ruled the web world before Google took over.
Yahoo News, known to kickstart operations around the mid-90s, easily became a sought-after business as Indian web users made their way through their desktops and CPUs in the pre-information boom era. This was the world where avid internet users were called surfers who later, went on to become netizens. Until mid-2000, Yahoo was a popular choice for web works but it didn't take much time for surfers addicted to Yahoo Messenger and Cricket updates to shifting their glance to updated Google platforms.
Pragyan Mohanty who worked with Yahoo India shared on Twitter, "Yahoo India signs out. One of the platforms I enjoyed writing for so much. Amidst scouring for ways to retrieve one's work and discovering a trick or two about web archiving, nostalgia is a constant companion."
Last year, HuffingtonPost relieved 12 of its employees from their duties as they shut operations owing to the new FDI rules.
What do the new FDI rules say?
As per the new FDI regulations effective October 2021, digital media companies in India can accept only up to 26 percent investment in the form of foreign investment, subject to approval from the central government.