Gen Xers who came of age in the nineties have cause to weep. Yahoo! Messenger, once the scene of your adolescent angst and subversive soliloquies, will finally be killed off. Never mind if you haven’t used it since your last upgrade – or even if you can’t download it anymore. And you’ve only got a few weeks to export all those saved conversations.
After 18 years of service – which makes it almost as old as commercial internet providers such as AOL – Yahoo! will pull the plug on the original application on August 5.
In a blog post, Chief Architect Amotz Maimon explained why: “While today we provide basic interoperation between the legacy product and the new Messenger, we encourage all of our users to complete their transition to the new Yahoo! Messenger as we will no longer support the legacy platform as of August 5, 2016. We intend to continue our focused efforts on the new Messenger, with a goal of delivering the best experience to our users.”
New Yahoo! Messenger
The internet giant announced a new messenger for mobile and web in December. Maimon says it integrates Yahoo Mail and is built on a new modern platform. “This complete revamp brings users an incredibly fast, beautiful and smart way to send – and unsend – messages, photos and animated GIFs in 1:1 and group conversations,” he added. Its best attribute: an Unsend feature that lets you delete a message long after you’ve sent it.
Yahoo! Messenger, first rolled out as Yahoo! Pager on March 9, 1998, was a precursor to voice-over-internet services such as Skype, as well as text messaging apps such as WhatsApp. Its popularity has waned in recent years, but it has found favour with, of all people, oil traders, who use the app to track oil movements on international commodity markets.
One word of caution: from August 5, all archived conversations, including those romantic online escapades with your high-school crush, will be deleted from your Yahoo Mail account. You’ve got less than two months to export them to your computer – if you really want them. Going forward, you can simply track your conversations in their respective chat windows, WhatsApp-style.