What it was: While traditional hosting services charged a monthly fee, GeoCities allowed users to sign up for free hosting. The hoted site would be covered in advertisements, but in return the user would have a couple of megabytes of free storage to put up a personal home site.
Why it was popular: At the turn of the century, everyone and their pet dog got on the crazy to have their own personal web site on what was then billed as the “information super highway." A lot of people were keen to have a web presence but wanted to do it for free, and GeoCities thus flourished to become the third most visited web site by 1999.
Why it disappeared: The popularity of GeoCities made it an attractive acquisition target for online giant Yahoo!, which bought the service at the peak of the dot-com bubble in 1999. However, Yahoo! struggled to monetise the service as more free web hosting services came out, often with more storage space, less advertising and quicker servers. GeoCities would eventually be viewed as a relic from the early days of the Internet and soon faded into the background until Yahoo! finally pulled the plug on the service in 2009.