CALIFORNIA, U.S. - Two decades after first making internet chats a reality - at a time when the internet itself was brand new - Yahoo Messenger is now set to shut shop and vanish.
The web pioneer giant announced that Yahoo Messenger will be discontinued on July 17, following which the platform wont work and users wont be able to access chats.
Yahoo said in its announcement that users can preserve their chat history if they wish to do so, by downloading it to their device within six months.
It said that chat history can be downloaded through a specific downloader request site.
Yahoo also added in its announcement that it is now working on a new communications tools that is more befitting of the mobile age.
According to reports, one such communications tool is Yahoos invite-only group messaging app called Yahoo Squirrel, which is currently in Beta.
Users can request an invite if they wish to explore the group messaging app.
The Verizon-owned company made the announcement on its support site and said, 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, were focusing on building and introducing new, exciting communications tools that better fit consumer needs.
Yahoo said that it is now recommending users to delete the app as soon as theyve downloaded the chat history.
It added that after July 17, Yahoo Messenger users will be redirected to Squirrel, which the company has been beta-testing since last month.
Introduced in 1998, Yahoo Messenger chat service was very popular with users in several geographies.
Eventually, as several new services - including Google Talk, Facebook and WhatsApp - were launched, the old version of the chat app saw a decline in user base.
In recent years, Yahoo has been trying to revive its Messenger service by updating its Android and iOS apps.
Then, in December 2015, the company launched the new version of Yahoo Messenger and the following year, it phased out the original Messenger app.
The revival of what was, by then, the last great bastion of early internet chat including a completely new design, and several new features - including the Unsend feature, which allowed users to retrace their footsteps and undo sending messages.
Despite the new age look and features, Yahoo Messenger failed to make a mark even as its contemporary competitors like WhatsApp, iMessage, and Facebook Messenger continued to grow in size and form.
Yet, Yahoo Messenger isnt the only long-standing chat app to shut down.
In December last year, AOL Instant Messenger was shut down.
In 2014, MSN Messenger bid adieu after Microsoft acquired Skype.