RIP Yahoo Messenger (1998-2018): Oath Shuts It Down On July 17


Since the 90s, Yahoo Messenger was one of the top messaging services online, but it will all come to an end after 20 years of service.

The Announcement From Oath

On June 8, Oath — the parent company of Yahoo — announced that it will shut down Yahoo Messenger on July 17, 2018. Users can still access Yahoo Messenger until that date.

"After July 17, you'll no longer be able to access your chats and the service will no longer work," Oath wrote to its users. "We recommend that you delete the app after you've downloaded your chat history and anything else you'd like to save."

Users can download chat history for the next six months. Oath says that the Yahoo ID can be used for other Yahoo products, such as Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Fantasy.

The company currently does not have a replacement 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)," Oath wrote. "You can request an invite at"

A History Of Yahoo Messenger

In 1998, Yahoo Messenger launched as Yahoo Pager. It thrived as one of the top instant messaging services of the 90s with hundreds of millions of people using the service. Part of the reason that it was successful was that it was not exclusive to an internet service provider. Although Yahoo Messenger lacked some of the features as its competitors, it was still popular for many years.

In 2009, the Yahoo Messenger app launched in the iOS App Store. This gave users the ability to use the service while on mobile devices. By 2018, the app ranked at 160 on iOS and 117 on Android. Anyone logged into Yahoo could access the service at any time.

However, Yahoo Messenger could not keep up with messaging services from competitors such as Facebook, Apple, and Google. In 2017, Verizon purchased Yahoo and set up Oath as the holding company. This meant new changes were coming to Yahoo.

Why Is Yahoo Messenger Shutting Down?

Although Oath did not provide a reason for the closing, it is clear that Yahoo Messenger could not compete with the other messaging services.

"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," Oath wrote. "As the communications landscape continues to change over, we're focusing on building and introducing new, exciting communications tools that better fit consumer needs."

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