A Yahoo spokeswoman said that on Oct. 3, the company plans to start charging people to respond to personal ads posted to its site, a service that had previously been free. The cost will be $19.95 for one month, $42.95 for three months, or $89.95 for one year. In addition, the service will offer an option to buy enhanced ads for $4.95 that provide priority placement in searches and allow up to five pictures to be posted. Yahoo will continue to provide free ad postings, which are limited to one photo.
The switch comes as Yahoo is seeking to bolster its revenues in the midst of an online advertising contraction. The company has added charges to numerous services that were previously free, including its auction listings, which saw an immediate drop-off in popularity. Most recently, Yahoo sent notices to heavy users of its GeoCities Web-hosting service, telling them to upgrade to a recently launched paid version or face disruptions.