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The End of an Era: Yahoo Messenger Is Slated to Shut Down

June 8, 2018, 6:29 PM UTC

Yahoo Messenger’s days are numbered.

Yahoo said Friday that it would pull the plug on the 20-year-old messaging service on July 17.

The company said that while the service has “many loyal fans,” it will abandon the chat app in favor of newer messaging tools “that better fit consumer needs.”

Currently, Yahoo has no replacement for Yahoo Messenger, but it said it is testing new chat apps, like its Yahoo Squirrel. However, that app is not widely available.

People who want an archive of their Yahoo Messaging texts can visit a special website where they can download a history of their messages, but they only have six months to do so. After that, they will be unable to access the archive.

When Yahoo Messenger debuted in 1998, chatting services were just emerging. But over the years new chatting services like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp eclipsed Yahoo Messenger in popularity.

In 2017, AOL shut down its Instant Messenger (AIM) after a 20-year run, likely due to changing consumer habits that favored newer chatting services from Google, Facebook, and others.

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Yahoo built a new version of Yahoo Messenger in 2015 and urged people to switch to the new version in 2016 because it would stop supporting the older version.

Considering that Yahoo has decided kill the revamped Yahoo Messenger, it’s likely that it never caught on with like the older version did in the 1990s.

Last summer, telecommunications giant Verizon closed its $4.5 billion acquisition of Yahoo. As part of the deal, Verizon merged Yahoo with AOL to form the new media conglomerate Oath.