Sohu's community forum service, which was launched in 1999 in China, will officially close on April 20, 2017.
Sohu is not the only Internet portal that has chosen to close its online forum service. On October 19, 2016, NetEase shut down its all bulletin board services, except for real estate and home sectors.
Online forums, otherwise known as BBS, are a product of the PC Internet age and it have lost their vitality in the new social media and mobile world. Even though BBS are an early forum of social media, their functionality and engagement with users have not kept pace with the services offered by Weibo or WeChat.
Sohu said in its notice that due to the business development needs of the group, they have to inform users with sadness and regret that Sohu's community will officially stop service. At the same time, the notice posted on the company's website reminded users to save their precious data before the final closure date.
Before closing its BBS, NetEase also offered convenient services like memory packing, which allowed users to download their personal articles, files, and history with one click.