Yahoo! Messenger

After 20 years, Yahoo Messenger is closing shop

A hand holds a phone with the Yahoo logo.
Photo: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

Yahoo Messenger will be end its service after July 17, Variety reports, 20 years after the first version of the messaging service, Yahoo Pager, was released. Per Variety, users have six months to download chat history.

“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.”
— Message from Oath, the Verizon branch that runs Yahoo

AOL is killing off its instant messenging program

Photo: AOL

Verizon-owned AOL announced Friday it is discontinuing AIM, the pioneering chat program, effective Dec. 15. "AIM tapped into new digital technologies and ignited a cultural shift, but the way in which we communicate with each other has profoundly changed.," AOL said in a Tumblr post.

The bottom line: Yahoo and Microsoft have already discontinued their first-generation chat programs, so it's hardly a big surprise. That said, it also highlights a missed opportunity. Chat hasn't gone away; it's just that these programs proved unable to fully keep up with the times.