Oath has announced that Yahoo Messenger will officially shut down next month. While the service was once one of the most popular messaging services around, its popularity has waned in recent years.
The Verizon-owned Oath, which resulted from the purchase by Verizon of AOL and Yahoo!, say the Yahoo Messaging service will officially shut down on July 17th. Users will be redirected to the company’s new “Squirrel” group messaging application. The Squirrel app is still in private beta, and an official release date for the service hasn’t been announced.
There currently isn’t a replacement product available for Yahoo Messenger. We’re constantly experimenting with new services and apps, one of which is an invite-only group messaging app called Yahoo Squirrel (currently in beta). You can request an invite at squirrel.yahoo.com.
Yahoo Messenger users will have six months to download their chat history from Yahoo Messenger. Oath says the shuttering of the service is to allow it to focus “on building and introducing new, exciting communications tools that better fit consumer needs.”
The shuttering of Yahoo Messenger comes six months or so following the shutting down of AOL’s AIM messaging service. Oath appears to be looking to get rid of any association with the AOL and Yahoo names for its branding. Yahoo especially has had bad publicity in recent years, due to numerous data breaches.