Yahoo announced through a blog post on June 10 that it will be discontinuing support for its traditional Yahoo Messenger desktop application from August 5, 2016. Users will be able to continue using Yahoo’s integrated chat services through their mailbox, on the web as well as through their smartphone’s apps.
While Yahoo discontinues support for their old desktop chat platform, users that adopted the use of API’s (application programming interface) to chat on Yahoo will not be able to sign-in with their IDs and will have to use one of Yahoo’s web or mobile platform’s instead.
Yahoo introduced its desktop messenger application in the late 90’s, where the application was denoted with a mere Serif ‘Y’. In the immediate years after its release, it experienced widespread adoption among the financial services industry as well as enjoyed a large user base, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. Yahoo will continue to provide its users with chat functionality, but it will be through their newest platforms with a faster and renewed experience. One that offers added functionality over the last platform; which is one of the major causes of the desktop application coming to an end.
Yahoo explains in their blog post that ‘they introduced the new platforms for the web as well as mobiles in 2015 that brought faster and more reliable methods of sending and receiving messages and media. While they have provided basic interoperability between the old and new platforms, they wish to encourage all users to transition to the new platform while they discontinue support for the old one’.
Yahoo has been making significant strategic changes to its businesses as well as assets from the beginning of 2016. While having laid-off 15% of their workforce (including top assets from research wings), the company also closed down digital publishing assets (magazines) and will further discontinue its ‘Yahoo Recommends’ service that discovers and suggests content based on a reader’s interests, beginning September 1, 2016.