It’s the end of an era for Yahoo Messenger, one of the first instant messaging apps on the market. Yahoo, on 9th of June, announced that Messenger will stop working after 17th of July 2018. Once Messenger shuts down, users will be redirected to a new Squirrel service that the company has been beta-testing since last month.
Yahoo Messenger first made its debut as Yahoo Pager way back in 1998, at a time when instant messaging was the terrain of PCs, as an alternative to email and SMS on basic mobile devices. It was an early hit and popularized the idea of “over the top” messaging. Unlike other messaging platforms, Yahoo was not tied to a specific service provider. But like other services in that first generation of messaging, Messenger’s role and functions were swiftly surpassed by faster and more functional mobile-based services, and specifically mobile messaging apps. Notably, WhatsApp which was created by ex-Yahoo employees.
The messenger app is finally shutting down after a 20-year run. Yahoo, which was acquired by Verizon in 2017, didn’t give an explanation for shutting its messenger down. But the writing has been on the wall for some time, given the dominance today of Facebook’s WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger, Snapchat, WeChat and many others. Given the sheer amount of already popular messaging apps on the market, it was probably hard to compete with the existing product for Yahoo.
Verizon subsidiary Oath says that Yahoo Messenger is shutting down on July 17th. The company is redirecting users to its new group messaging application, Squirrel. Users will have six months to download their chat history from Yahoo Messenger. Yahoo explains that the shutdown of Messenger will allow it to focus on creating new communication tools that “better fit consumer needs.”
“There currently isn’t a replacement product available for Yahoo Messenger. We’re constantly experimenting with new services and apps, one of which is an invite-only group messaging app called Yahoo Squirrel (currently in beta). We know we have many loyal fans who have used Yahoo Messenger since its beginning as one of the first chat apps of its kind.
As the communications landscape continues to change over, we’re focusing on building and introducing new, exciting communications tools that better fit consumer needs.” Yahoo
Cumulatively over the last 20 years, hundreds of millions of people have used the service, the company said. The company says your Yahoo ID remains intact for other services like Mail and fantasy sports. Have you ever used Yahoo Messenger, or do you have any memories of this chat application? Let us know in the comment section down below.
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