The internet's breaking (Yahoo) Pipes

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Yahoo Pipes

The news that Yahoo is killing Yahoo Pipes has been met with more than a little mockery:


— Marco Arment (@marcoarment) June 4, 2015

(At least I assume it’s mockery. It’s hard to tell sometimes.)

It’s easy to forget how much Yahoo Pipes has been used to connect together feeds in interesting ways:

I wondered what will happen to the people who follow feeds produced by Yahoo Pipes? Yahoo doesn’t say they’ll provide free redirection, but it would be good for the web if they did. And even if they did provide redirection, where would people redirect to? Because Yahoo was a big company people trusted and their service was free, little if any competition developed for Yahoo Pipes.

Many of the sites I worked on back in my rBI days used Pipes for some clever bits of plumbing – but the people who did that work have moved on. I’m left wondering if things are going to break on some of those sites in a few months, and the people running them now may have no idea what’s happened. In fact, Pipes has been such a unique piece of tech, that I bet little bits of functionality will break all over the web come September.

A free service can get far too comfy.


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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.