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Yahoo Messenger will be put to rest on July 17

Yahoo Messenger (both the web and mobile apps) will be discontinued on July 17. You'll have six months to download your chat history.

Published onJune 8, 2018

An aerial image of Yahoo headquarters.
  • Yahoo Messenger (both the web and mobile apps) will be discontinued on July 17.
  • You have six months to download your chat history before everything is deleted.
  • There is no Yahoo app to replace Messenger, so you will have to migrate to a third-party application.

Oath announced today that it would shut down Yahoo Messenger – both the web portal and smartphone app – in a little over a month on July 17.

If there’s one market that’s oversaturated in the smartphone app world, it’s message apps. With the heavyweight dominance of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and privacy-focused apps like Telegram, there isn’t much room for other players.

However, Yahoo Messenger does have over 50 million installs on Android devices across the world, so maybe audience numbers aren’t the only reason for the app’s demise.

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Verizon – which owns Oath, and thus owns Yahoo – has had a few shakeups recently, with its CEO stepping down and the announcement that it will terminate the development of its own live TV streaming service that would have competed with Sling TV and YouTube TV. Could it be that Verizon’s restructuring and refocusing is the reason for ending Yahoo Messenger?

According to Yahoo’s announcement, the reason for ending the Yahoo Messenger service is that it is “focusing on building and introducing new, exciting communications tools that better fit consumer needs.”

Once again, the app has over 50 million installs, so one wonders what that could possibly mean.

Yahoo also admits that there is no replacement app for Yahoo Messenger, although it is working on a new group messaging app with the ridiculous name of Yahoo Squirrel. This new app is currently in invite-only beta at the moment, so it’s not entirely clear how Squirrel will differentiate itself from all the other messaging apps.

If you’re interested, you can request a beta invite to Squirrel here.

Since Yahoo is terminating Yahoo Messenger and has no app at the ready for its users to migrate to, inevitably those remaining Messenger users will flock to a different company’s app. Once they do, it will be even more challenging to get them to leave that new app – especially if its one of the huge ones like WhatsApp.

If you are using Yahoo Messenger, you can download your chat history for the next six months using this tool. Just sign in and follow the prompts.

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