Iconic Yahoo Messenger will shut down after 20 years

Yahoo Messenger is shutting down on July 17, redirects users to group messaging app Squirrel

Yahoo Messenger will be discontinued on July 17, the web pioneer giant announced on Friday.

According to Oath's brand-information site, Yahoo Messenger had a "peak user reach" of 122.6 million users.

Yahoo Messenger hasn't been a big deal for years, but it was absolutely massive at one point in time.

"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 launched in 1998 as Yahoo Pager, back in a time before smartphones, when kids actually knew what a pager referred to.

Currently, Yahoo has no replacement for Yahoo Messenger, but it said it is testing new chat apps, like its Yahoo Squirrel.

Users have six months to download their chat history from the firm's website to preserve messages and other media.

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Facebook Messenger has more than 1.3 billion monthly active users as of September 2017. You may not hear about that, though - while some have fond memories of Yahoo Messenger, we're betting that there aren't a lot of people who've ever heard of Squirrel.

The company recommends deleting the app as soon as you've downloaded the chat history, because it'll no longer work.

Here's what Yahoo said about why it's closing Messenger.

In 2009, the Yahoo Messenger app launched in the iOS App Store.

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. This gave users the ability to use the service while on mobile devices.

However, Yahoo Messenger could not keep up with messaging services from competitors such as Facebook, Apple, and Google.

Alongside that, the company, as a part of Oath, is now owned by Verizon, the telecoms behemoth. No other chat service came close.

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