Yahoo Messenger shuts down on July 17, redirects users to the Squirrel group message app

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It is the end of an era for Yahoo Messenger, one of the first instant messaging applications on the market. Today, Oath announced that he will close the service on July 17 while continuing to experiment and considering how and if he can have a relevant place in the message landscape in the midst of a great domination of Facebook and others in the mobile applications.

“Currently there is no replacement product available for Yahoo Messenger,” the company writes. “We are constantly experimenting with new services and applications, one of which is an invitation-only group messaging application called Yahoo Squirrel (currently in beta).” Squirrel is a group messaging application that Yahoo started testing last month. You can request access to the beta here.

Yahoo has not removed the active users of Messenger for some time, and theoretically anyone who has logged in to any Yahoo property has logged in to Messenger. Cumulatively in the last 20 years, hundreds of millions of people have used the service, the company said. The company says that its Yahoo ID remains intact for other services such as Mail and fantasy sports.

The company does not specify its reasons for closing Messenger, but the writing has been on the wall for some time, given the current Facebook domain of WhatsApp and Messenger, Snapchat, WeChat and a number of others.

“We know that we have many loyal followers who have used Yahoo Messenger since its inception as one of the first chat applications of its kind,” he says. “As the communications landscape continues to change, we are focusing on creating and introducing exciting new communication tools that better fit consumer needs.”

On top of that, the company, as part of Oath, is now owned by Verizon, the telecommunications giant. Ironically, it is the world’s telecommunications companies whose revenues have been cannibalized in part by excessive messaging services, although the death of Yahoo Messenger is much less related to that, considering that it is not one of the most popular services in the market. today.

Yahoo says you can download your Messenger chat history for the next six months by going here. The files go to your computer or device, but not specifically to another messaging application.

Yahoo Messenger made its debut as Yahoo search engine in 1998, at a time when instant messaging was the domain of PCs, as an alternative to email and SMS on basic mobile devices. It was an early success and popularized the idea of ​​an “excessive” message that was not linked to a specific service provider.

But like other services in that first generation of messages, the role and functions of Messenger were quickly overtaken by faster and more functional mobile services, and specifically mobile messaging applications. In particular, WhatsApp was created by former employees of Yahoo.

In the following years, Yahoo has had moderate success (but far from overproduction) with Yahoo Messenger on mobile devices, which today stands at 160 on iOS and 117 on Android in the category of social networks, according to App Annie. Other attempts to create new messaging products have been ephemeral.

Oath, and its owner Verizon, are clearly in the midst of a great organizational and strategic change. The company also announced today that Lowell McAdam will step down as CEO of Verizon, to be replaced by Hans Vestberg, the former CEO of Ericsson who has been CTO of Verizon. Last week, Oath announced her latest leadership change by hiring Natalie Ravitz as her new communications director.

It is also preparing for a great video and content review later this year, which could also be one of the reasons behind today’s Messenger news. Under the new owner of Verizon, Oath and its businesses are gradually moving away from communications services to focus more on what is accelerating around those networks.

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