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End of an era: Yahoo Messenger is shutting down next month

One of the first tools, Yahoo Messenger, is shutting down on July 17.

(Credit: iStock)

One of the first tools is shutting down next month — Yahoo Messenger will be discontinued on July 17.

Yahoo made the announcement early on Friday.

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As the web has evolved, the messaging space has become dominated by a large number of apps, chief among them WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram, all the property of Facebook. And with the rise of smartphones, Apple’s iMessage Message+ on Android and other apps, such as Snapchat and chinese WeChat, have effectively pushed Yahoo Messenger out of the way.

Yahoo said that the company will focus “on building and introducing new, exciting communication tools that better fit the needs of the consumer.”

Yahoo Messenger users who are interested in downloading their chat history you can do within the next six months, the company explained, according to the following instructions.

There is currently no replacement for Messenger just yet, the company added, but it works to a new group messaging app (in beta, currently known as Yahoo Squirrel, which interested users can access here.

Yahoo is a part of Verizon’s media-centric subsidiary, the Oath, which also owns AOL, and several other properties, including tech website TechCrunch, Huffington Post and Engadget. At the end of last year, AOL said goodbye to one of the early Internet the popular messaging apps, at the exit GOAL.

Yahoo Messenger is not even in the top 50 most used social networking apps on iOS or Android, and the company has struggled in the past trying to make the app messages that are relevant.

In 2015, under former CEO Marissa Mayer, the company unveiled Yahoo Livetext, an audio-free video-messaging app, to significant fanfare. However, the app never got traction, and Yahoo killed the product less than a year later, in March 2016.

Yahoo has never publicly announced how many active users of Yahoo Messenger, only going so far as to say hundreds of million people have used over the 20-year lifespan of the product, according to TechCrunch. But judging by the competition, the writing was on the wall for the once-legendary product.

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Facebook Messenger is more than 1.3 billion monthly active users as of September 2017. WhatsApp has more than 1.5 billion monthly active users, sending more than 60 billion messages per day, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Facebook’s 2017 fourth-quarter earnings call.

The Verizon-owned by Yahoo, said that shutting down Messenger, will not affect other products, such as Yahoo Mail or Yahoo Fantasy.

Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia

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