This article details recent news about Oath shutting down Yahoo Messenger in July. It recounts Yahoo Messenger’s history and details news of its successor app “Squirrel” while outlining messaging app alternatives such as Slack and Whatsapp.

The Verizon subsidiary company Oath operates Yahoo. Yeah, I didn’t know either. But the company acquired Yahoo in 2017 after acquiring AOL in 2015.

But a message on Yahoo forums indicates that the company will soon shut down Yahoo Messenger. The company also announced a new messenger known as “Squirrel”.

What is the deal with “Squirrel” and what are some messenger alternatives?

image of The message on Yahoo's forums about Yahoo Messenger's shut down for article Goodbye to 20-year old Yahoo Messenger, Hello "Squirrel", And Alternatives
The message on Yahoo’s forums about Yahoo Messenger’s shut down

A Quick History of Yahoo Messenger’s Demise

Yahoo Messenger was one of the first apps of its kind when it debuted in 1998. Under its original name Yahoo! Pager, users went by their Yahoo IDs (screennames) to send messages to one another.

It evolved into an ad-supported instant message system as operated by Yahoo.

The messaging app once supported Windows, Linux, Solaris, and Mac users. But by 2016, it only supported iOS, Android, and web browser clients. At that point, they already started shutting servers down.

The messaging app also received less than stellar reviews from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They gave a secure messaging scorecard to Yahoo with poor marks due to a lack of end-to-end encryption.

Despite it being super old and insecure, the app remained one of the most popular apps among commodities traders as reported in Bloomberg. But no one knows if these creatures of habit will adopt Yahoo’s new messenger service quickly.

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Dilbert comic about instant messengers | Clifford.soup.io

So What’s the Deal With “Squirrel” Then?

After Yahoo Messenger’s demise, the company will launch Squirrel – an invite-only messaging service.

The group chat service is still in beta, but functions much like Slack does. This suggests that Yahoo wants to compete with other apps, but what will compel users to use it?

After all, if you want to contact friends and family, you can just use Slack or Facebook Messenger. You can use plain, old text messages or phone calls, too.

For those of you more interested in Squirrel, you can request an invite here.

image of different messaging app icons for article Goodbye to 20-year old Yahoo Messenger, Hello "Squirrel", And Alternatives
Microsiervos Geek Crew via The Next Web

Alternative Messenger Options

You can always use Skype for messaging, as well as voice calls. They offer paid packages, as well for different companies in terms of scaling needs.

Obviously, you have all of the Google options from Google Hangouts to Google Meet.

Many companies still use the noted helpful messaging app Slack.

The company CTO has openly said he wants Slack to slay email. The company also just backed Loom, a chrome-based video platform extension to immediately capture and share videos.

What this could potentially mean for Slack, no one can say. It may just be a clever investment round into a startup that could disrupt video recording programs such as XSplit, Fraps, and Open Broadcast Software.

Then you have the Facebook-owned, but fully encrypted messaging platform Whatsapp. It works on Android, Windows, and Apple phones, as well as Mac and PC computers.

What messaging apps do you use to stay in touch with coworkers, family, and friends?

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