Oath, a part of Verizon that includes Yahoo, has announced that it will stop its chat service Yahoo Messenger on July 17. There will be no immediate replacement for the service, which has been available since 1998.
In the announcement, the company wrote that “the communication landscape has changed” and that it is therefore discontinuing the service. The popularity of alternative services may play a role, such as Facebook’s chat apps. There is no immediate replacement, although Yahoo points to the existence of a beta app called Squirrel, to which users can request an invitation. People using Yahoo Messenger will still be able to download their chat history for the next six months, which they will then receive in an email.
The first version of Yahoo Messenger came out in the late 1990s under the name Pager. In 2015, a new version of the chat service was released, with clients for iOS, Android and a web client. The old version of Messenger then stopped in 2016; there was also no support for several native desktop clients back then. Oath, which also includes AOL, already ended the AIM chat service last year. This was available for twenty years.
Verizon founded Oath in 2017. Both AOL and Yahoo fall under this venture, after Verizon acquired the companies in 2015 and 2017 respectively. The remaining portion of Yahoo continued as Altaba.