Google has officially announced the cessation of support for Usenet groups on its Google Groups platform, effective from February 22, 2024. The decision is attributed to the platform’s struggle with spam content and a decline in legitimate activity within text-based Usenet groups. After the specified date, users will be unable to post, subscribe, or view new Usenet content through Google Groups. However, historical Usenet content posted before this cutoff date will remain accessible for viewing and searching on the platform.
The announcement also marks the discontinuation of Google’s Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP) server services, including content peering with other NNTP servers. This means that Google will no longer support the dissemination of new Usenet content or its exchange with other servers. The move is part of the platform’s response to the shift of users towards more modern communication technologies like social media and web-based forums, leaving text-based Usenet groups with diminished legitimate activity. Google is offering guidance to users actively engaged in Usenet content, advising them to transition to alternative platforms by finding a new Usenet client and a public Usenet server.
Users are encouraged to explore numerous free and paid options available for Usenet clients and servers. Google suggests conducting web searches for phrases like “how do I find a Usenet text client” and “public NNTP servers” to assist in this transition. Since Usenet is a distributed system, there is no need for data migration, and users can select new servers while retaining access to their Usenet content. Despite this shift away from Usenet, Google clarifies that the update will not affect non-Usenet content on Google Groups, ensuring the continued availability of the vast majority of user and organization-created groups currently active on the platform.