Instant messaging app Yahoo Messenger, an old virtual friend of Indian users, would be shut next month on July 17. The chat service garnered praises in its initial days in 1998, with a vast user base, but witnessed a downfall after several new services rose to dominance, including Google Talk, social networks like Facebook and now WhatsApp.
Despite major blow, Yahoo did try to revive its Messsenger service by updating its Android and iOS apps, apart from its Web counterpart last year in December. The new version of the Messenger was launched in December 2015, and original messenger app was phased out in August the following year. Even though, it got in new features including an impressive 'unsend' option, it miserably failed to make a mark in the user consciousness as new options with extremely attractive features overpowered soon.
Those still using the old messaging service will be redirected to a new group messaging app Squirrel. Yahoo has been beta-testing Squirrel since last month and will be thrown open for public once Yahoo messenger closes in July.
Oath, which is the subsidiary of telecommunications giant Verizon that operates Yahoo, on Friday announced the final wrap-up of Yahoo Messenger with its services coming to an end next month.
"Yahoo Messenger will no longer be supported after July 17, 2018. Until then, you can continue to use the service normally. After July 17, you'll no longer be able to access your chats and the service will no longer work," Yahoo said in a statement on Friday.
"There currently isn't a replacement product available for Yahoo Messenger," the company said, adding that it is constantly experimenting with new services and apps, one of which is an invite-only group messaging app called 'Yahoo Squirrel' which is currently in beta form.
"Squirrel" is a group messaging app Yahoo started testing last month.
"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 said, while avoiding to offer any specific reason behind its decision to shut down Messenger.
Yahoo Messenger first made its debut as "Yahoo Pager" way back in 1998 as an alternative to email and short message service (SMS) on basic mobile devices.
Yahoo Messenger makes exit, here are some FAQs answered by Yahoo itself:
1. Why is Yahoo Messenger going away?
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.
2. Is there a replacement product for Yahoo Messenger?
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). You can request an invite at squirrel.yahoo.com.
3. Can I download my Chat History?
For the next 6 months, you can download your chat history to you personal computer or device.
4. I still have the app installed on my computer or phone? Will it still work?
After July 17, 2018, you won't be able to access or sign in to Yahoo Messenger. We recommend that you delete the app after you've downloaded your chat history and anything else you’d like to save.
5. Does this impact my Yahoo ID?
No, your Yahoo ID will continue to work for other Yahoo products, like Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Fantasy, etc.