As if there aren't enough messaging platforms in the world, Yahoo has now decided to release its own. The company has quietly launched an iOS and Android messaging app called Squirrel, which focuses on conversations between family, friends, and work groups.
Check Out Yahoo's New App, Squirrel
Similar to any run-of-the-mill messaging app, it supports sharing of photos, links, and other types of media, but what makes Squirrel stand out is the fact that access to any group is by invitation-only. That means users can only join a conversation if they've been directly asked to. Users can give their friends a link to the conversation and begin communicating from there — no need to access a wider set of contacts just to look for someone to talk to.
That is a crucial and noteworthy component of Squirrel, given that Yahoo has already tarnished its reputation when it comes to data privacy, following an unfortunate data breach a couple of years ago. Not to mention the general climate around the subject has become significantly toxic over the past few months, what with Facebook's disastrous Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Squirrel is currently in testing mode, as TechCrunch reports. A Yahoo login is required for now, and the ability to kick off a conversation group is also currently in invitation-only mode.
"Right now we're experimenting with a new invite-only messaging app focused on improving group communication in everyday life," confirmed Oath, Yahoo's parent company.
It's not clear if Squirrel stands to be successful. A number of factors come into play here, including the fact that the market is already oversaturated with messaging apps. Google alone has Allo, Hangouts, Duo, and Android Messages. There's also other apps such as Messenger, WhatsApp, Signal, Viber, WeChat, and more. At this point, it'll be hard for Yahoo to penetrate the market and expect to capture a huge chunk of users.
Even still, the company has to hope its unique by-invitation-only feature will be enough to draw users in.
Yahoo's History Of Messaging
To be fair, Yahoo has a somewhat interesting track record when it comes to messaging apps. It launched Yahoo Messenger in 1998, which was one of the leading messaging platforms at a time when messaging software was primarily found on desktops. As technology progressed, Yahoo Messenger and others like it were swiftly surpassed by other apps that offered far greater features, especially mobile apps.