CompuServe Forums — an internet destination that was all the rage back in the early 90s — is shutting down.
Even after over two decades, the old forums are remarkably still around. But unfortunately, they'll be gone on Dec. 15, according to a new posting on the site.
No explanation was given for the imminent closure. However, CompuServe is now under the control of Verizon-owned Oath, which has also decided to shut down AOL Instant Messenger on the same December date.
The old forums were the stomping grounds for many early internet users when the Ohio-based CompuServe was a leading internet service provider in the US. Back then, the company charged $5 or more for an hour of internet access, which operated over slow dial-up modems for PCs.
The forums themselves became a popular place to talk about "everything from PC hardware to comic books," according to Harry McCracken, technology editor at FastCompany who participated in the forums back in the late 1980s.
However, CompuServe struggled to compete against AOL, which acquired the company in 1998. Since then, visits to the forums have drastically declined; its the 16,115 most visited site in the US, according to Alexa internet rankings. In contrast, Reddit is ranked number 4.
Nevertheless, the CompuServe forums still attract a number of loyal users, some of whom are upset with the upcoming shut down.
"My heart just sank," wrote one user.
"I'm in the stunned-and-disbelieving phase, which will no doubt last a while," wrote another.
The rest of the CompuServe site remains active as a web portal. Email, news, weather and other information will continue to be offered on the site, although who knows for how long.
"We are constantly evaluating the content and services that are available through the service," the CompuServe Team wrote in its notice.