Yahoo Messenger will shut down next month

Oath is killing off another old-school messaging app.

Marrian Zhou Staff Reporter
Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
Marrian Zhou
2 min read

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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