Oath Inc. to Shut Down Yahoo Messenger on July 17

  • One of the first instant messaging apps Yahoo Messenger is shutting down on July 17.
  • The announcement was made by Oath Inc., the principal owners of Yahoo and all its subsidiaries.
  • Users will be redirected to Yahoo Squirrel, which is currently in an invite-only state.

Yahoo’s principal owner Oath Inc. announced that Yahoo Messenger will be shutting down on July 17. Yahoo Messenger is one of the first instant messaging apps to hit the market, and it failed to retain its dominant position once platforms like Facebook began to emerge. Yahoo Messenger users will be redirected to Yahoo Squirrel once the app shuts down.

Yahoo Squirrel is a new instant messaging app by Oath Inc. which is in an invite-only state as of now. Yahoo IDs will be transferred to the new app if users choose to continue using Yahoo’s messaging services. The number of users who are being affected by the Messenger shutdown is unknown as anyone who logs into a Yahoo account is considered to be a Yahoo Messenger user. Oath Inc. is trying to move away from messaging services and wants to focus on its network carrier acquisitions. The company will, however, continue supporting all of Yahoo’s existing services including Mail, News, and Search.

Yahoo Squirrel
Image Courtesy of Engadget

Yahoo released a blog post earlier today stating that the company wants to explore new horizons when it comes to messaging apps as the communications landscape is continuously changing. Yahoo Squirrel seeks to be the new and exciting communications app that users want. Yahoo Messenger users will be given the option to download their chat history dating back to six months to their phones or computers. However, the chats cannot be migrated to other messaging apps.

Yahoo Messenger was launched as Yahoo Pager in 1998, to provide an alternative means of communication to users limited to email and SMS. The app became quite popular as it was not tied to service providers and allowed users a chance to communicate without being tied by expensive mobile carrier plans. With messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook messenger making it big on Android and iOS, Yahoo’s own messaging app failed to retain its user base.

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