Verizon subsidiary Oath has announced that instant messaging platform, Yahoo Messenger will officially cease to exist next month.
Oath says that Yahoo Messenger is shutting down on July 17th. The company is redirecting users to its new group messaging application, Squirrel. Interestingly, Squirrel is still in private beta, and it’s unclear if the service will open up to the public before Yahoo Messenger’s shutdown next month.
“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.”
Users will have six months to download their chat history from Yahoo Messenger. Yahoo explains that the shutdown of Messenger will allow it to focus on creating new communication tools that “better fit consumer needs.”
“We know we have many loyal fans who have used Yahoo Messenger since its beginning as one of the first chat apps of its kind. As the communications landscape continues to change over, we’re focusing on building and introducing new, exciting communications tools that better fit consumer needs.”
News of Yahoo Messenger’s shutdown after 20 years of operation comes six months after the shutdown of AIM.