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Yahoo Messenger will shut down next month

Oath is killing off another old-school messaging app.

yahoomessengernew.jpg

Yahoo Messenger will shut down on July 17.

Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Goodbye, Yahoo Messenger.

If you're a frequent user, now would be a good time to relocate because the app will shut down on July 17, according to an update Friday on the Yahoo Messenger help site.

Although there isn't an immediate replacement for Yahoo Messenger, the company suggests Yahoo Squirrel -- an invite-only group messaging app currently in beta -- as an alternative. You can request an invite at squirrel.yahoo.com.

"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 writes on its website.

The retirement of Yahoo Messenger, which was an industry pioneer that got outdone by competitors, shouldn't really be a surprise. Oath, the Verizon media division that combines AOL and what's left of Yahoo, shut down AOL Instant Messenger last year in order to focus on new products.

"While there are many big messaging services today, just as in many things, the next phase of disruption in messaging is right around the corner," said Michael Albers, vice president of communication products at Oath, in a release. "That is where we as engineers, product managers and designers have shifted our focus."

If you have important information stored in your Yahoo Messenger chats, you can download your chat history on the "downloader request site" with your Yahoo ID before July 17. Although the messenger will shut down, your Yahoo ID will still work for other Yahoo products.

First published June 8, 9:05 a.m. PT

Update, 10:30 a.m. PT: Adds Oath vice president of communication products Michael Albers statement.

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