Verizon To Retire Yahoo Messenger

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Out with the old…twenty years after it was first launched, Yahoo Messenger is to be retired in mid July

Verizon has announced it will retire the veteran messaging service, Yahoo Messenger, on 17 July.

To give users an indication of just how old the messaging app is, Yahoo Messenger was originally launched back in March 1998 under the name Yahoo! Pager.

Verizon of course acquired most of Yahoo last year via its “Oath” division, after a lengthy acquisition process complicated by the massive data breaches at Yahoo in 2016.

Retiring service

Despite being a pioneering messaging service, Yahoo Messenger now lives in a world where it is competing with messaging giants such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Google and Microsoft, all of which are offering their own messaging services.

But for many people Yahoo Messenger was considered an industry pioneer in chat software, alongside the now-defunct AOL Instant Messenger.

Yet in the end, Verizon has taken the decision to the pull the plug on Yahoo Messenger.

“Yahoo Messenger will no longer be supported after July 17, 2018,” Verizon’s announced. “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.”

Users of Yahoo Messenger are being advised to back up their old messages and conservations.

It should also be noted that Yahoo IDs will not be affected, and although there is currently no replacement service being offered, Verizon is known to be developing an invite-only group messaging app called Yahoo Squirrel (currently in beta).

There is no accurate figures as to the total number of Yahoo Messenger users, but the messaging service is said to be very popular in certain sectors.

For example it is thought to be the default communication system for commodities traders worldwide.

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