Yahoo Messenger is no more. Oath, the Verizon subsidiary which owns Yahoo and AOL, is shutting down the ancient messaging service. Yahoo Messenger will stop functioning on July 17, with users having six months to download their chat history.
Yahoo Messenger has been with us for 20 years, originally launching as Yahoo Pager in 1998. This was Yahoo’s alternative to ICQ, and was extremely popular for a time. But now, with much better options available, Yahoo Messenger is saying goodbye.
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Oath Kills Off Yahoo Messenger
Messenger users can carry on using the service until July 17, 2018. At which point Oath will be pulling support and discontinuing the service. You’ll then have six months to download your Messenger chat history by visiting Yahoo’s download request site.
Despite Messenger being “one of the first chat apps of its kind” Yahoo states that, “as the communications landscape continues to change over, we’re focusing on building and introducing new, exciting communications tools that better fit consumer needs.”
To this end, while Yahoo isn’t offering a direct replacement for Messenger, it’s advising users to try Yahoo Squirrel. This is an invite-only group messaging app that’s currently in beta, and Messenger orphans can request an invite at squirrel.yahoo.com.
Yahoo Squirrel is far from the only option, however, with Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Telegram, and Signal all being perfectly good alternatives. Still, for those of us of a certain age, Yahoo Messenger was the last remaining old-school option.
The Old Web Is Slowly Dying
While it’s a sad day when a service as old and iconic as Yahoo Messenger disappearing, its death was overdue. The handful of people still using Yahoo Messenger means it simply isn’t worth Oath spending time and money bringing it up to date.
Yahoo Messenger is the latest in a line of old tech products and services to be killed off recently. In December 2017, AIM ceased to be, and in May 2018, Klout was put out to pasture and it was announced that StumbleUpon is shutting down too.