Many pioneers meet a sad end when others who follow them virtually swamp them with their technology and offerings. Yahoo Messenger, which exposed the people to electronically communicate with each other without using a telephone in the good old day will see its ultimate demise, come July 17.
The most popular mailing services of those years like Hotmail and Yahoo have given way to Gmail, though Yahoo mail still has a moderate presence. Now, the current owner of the messaging service, Oath, a subsidiary of telecom giant Verizon has asked its customers to switch from the messenger to its new group messaging service Squirrel instead.
The reason cited for this decision by Oath is that they have built Squirrel with a much better technology and more dynamic features that the customers may like, while acknowledging that it is not a very happy decision they have made to shut down Yahoo messenger.
However, speculations are rife that competition with newer apps like Snapchat, WeChat, and Facebook's WhatsApp and Messenger could be a major factor.
Squirrel is not fully active at this moment and Oath is only doing beta-testing now. However, the expectation is that the full service will be open to all by the time Yahoo messenger is eased out. Customers interested in signing up for the â€˜by invite onlyâ€™ app, will have to log into their site and do the needful.
Oath is also permitting the users of Yahoo messenger to download and save the chat history from their Yahoo account if they so desire, though it has to be within the device but not integrated with another app.
Verizon had made clear its intentions to promote Squirrel at the cost of the other messenger services; AOLâ€™s AIM was the first to go and now Yahoo. The Oath division was set up by Verizon to handle these.
Yahoo said that for the next six months, users would be able download their chat history to their personal computer or device.
"As the communications landscape continues to change over, we're focusing on building and introducing new, exciting communications tools that better fit consumer needs," Yahoo said, while avoiding to offer any specific reason behind its decision to shut down Messenger.
Yahoo Messenger first made its debut as "Yahoo Pager" way back in 1998 as an alternative to email and short message service (SMS) on basic mobile devices.
With IANS inputs