Alternatives to various Yahoo services

As you may recall, longtime Internet veteran company Yahoo reported last week that it was hit by a very nasty hack in 2014. On top of this came news this week revealing Yahoo has ignored vital security upgrades, to avoid scaring off potential users. This is something that’s (in my opinion) particularly appalling.

While the usual post-hack security tips still apply, some might instead be fed up with Yahoo entirely, and would like instead to just dump it once and for all. This could go for both the few lingering heavy Yahoo mail users, as well as those only using a few Yahoo services (such as Flickr) or left their Yahoo mail account dormant.

Most people have long since switched to other online services. However, for those wanting to switch, here’s my suggested alternatives to Yahoo’s most popular services.

Yahoo mail

Alternatives: Google Mail (Gmail); Microsoft Outlook.com

Google’s Gmail email service eclipsed Yahoo as the most popular webmail service years ago. That said, it’s a very well done free email service. A Gmail account also gives you access to the broad family of Google services, from Google Docs (or “G Suite“) to Google Play Music.

Another alternative that’s improved in recent years is Microsoft’s Outlook.com webmail service. Formerly known as Hotmail, the Redmond software giant’s been forced to improve its free email service a lot to keep pace with Gmail. An Outlook.com email also covers Microsoft’s family of services, including Office online, Skype, and Xbox Live. (Disclaimer: I’m currently working for a company that works with Microsoft.)

Flickr

Alternatives: Google Photos, Instagram, 500px

Yahoo’s made improvements in recent years to its Flickr photo sharing service, including a long-overdue revamped smartphone app. There’s also Flickr’s Creative Commons photos, which’re still useful.

However, if you want to dump Flickr, I’d suggest Google Photos as a broad photo backup service. Android users will find it’s already included by default, though iOS users can download and install the Google Photos app.

Instagram’s a service I recently signed up for. So far, it’s been a decent service for sharing random photos.

Professional photographers, or serious amateurs, might want to consider 500px. While there’s a free tier, the paid services are probably the main draw for 500px.

Tumblr

Alternatives: WordPress.com, Blogspot

While WordPress.com is an excellent free blogging service, it doesn’t have the community features that Tumblr has. Combining WordPress (or Google’s Blogspot) with social media usage (Facebook, Twitter) might be an option.

Fantasy sports

Alternatives: ESPN, CBS Sports

Fantasy sports is probably one of Yahoo’s few popular features these days. But if you’re looking for alternatives, ESPN and CBS Sports seem to be popular.

Yahoo IM

Alternatives: Twitter (messages), Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp

Instant Messaging doesn’t seem as popular as it once was. Social networks now offer IM-like messaging services, and text messaging alternatives like WhatsApp have grown in popularity. For that matter, text messaging itself is also still prominent on phones.

Weather app

Alternatives: Weather Channel, WeatherBug, Weather Underground, default apps/browser

Yahoo’s Weather app is pretty well done. However, there’s plenty of weather-related apps available these days, including the Weather Channel, WeatherBug, Weather Underground, and others.

The above apps aside, most phones now come with default weather apps or features, anyway. Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo also offer weather services in their search engines. And, of course, weather-related websites can be accessed via any browser.

Yahoo search

Alternatives: Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo

Google, of course, is the king of web search nowadays, having claimed such by doing web searching better than the previous leader did. The previous leader, of course, was Yahoo.

There’s also Bing as an option. Yahoo’s search services have been powered by Bing for some time now, so one may as well cut out the middleman and using Bing directly.

Finally, DuckDuckGo is fairly popular, as a more private, less intrusive search engine.

Conclusion

Things could still improve for Yahoo if and when its purchase by Verizon finally goes through. However, after the past week’s worth of news, that’s probably an extremely optimistic view at this point.

Do any of you still use any Yahoo services?

2 comments

  1. Nice alternative tips. It surprises me how many people are still rocking the @yahoo.com email address. I have about 295 people in my address book with such an email address.

    I’d love to meet someone who still uses Yahoo’s IM service. Every now and then, I’ll launch Yahoo Messenger, just for kicks. Total ghost town.

    Flickr is still the best photo service out there.

    1. I used to regularly use Yahoo IM, or at least via Pidgin for Linux. These days, Twitter’s messaging seems to fill the same role.

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