I went visiting the old Yahoo Messenger app out of nostalgic curiosity. I am not a digital native. But I was around in the days when

The old Yahoo Messenger is finally dead: 1998 to 2016

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I went visiting the old Yahoo Messenger app out of nostalgic curiosity. I am not a digital native. But I was around in the days when Yahoo Messenger was hip. And I was around when the focus shifted from Messenger to newer platforms. It has been ages since I logged in last and I was looking forward to see what it was now like. How did it go? Come find out.


the old yahoo messenger

It hit me this morning. Yahoo Messenger is dead. I haven’t logged in there in months now. Plus, the last few times that I logged in months ago, I had only one regular active contact on there. Just one. There used to be a time when all my instant messaging was done via Yahoo Messenger. Now, it is just a ghost town to me. In my circles, I was one of the last men standing. And now, even I am gone.

I do not doubt that there are still people who use Messenger regularly, but in today’s world of Facebook Chat, Google Chat and WhatsApp, those users are likely to be in the minority. I really am wondering what the spread of instant messaging services usage is like now. Of those who have abandoned Yahoo Messenger, what alternatives have they migrated to, and why?

Anyway, when I am done typing this article, I will be uninstalling Messenger from my netbook and mobiles. Here is my epitaph to a fine service that once kept me connected day after day for years. Yahoo Messenger as a service may not be exactly dead, but it is dead to me.

Sooner or later, Yahoo will pull the plug on this oldie.

If you once used Yahoo Messenger, why did you leave and for which alternative service? If you still use Messenger, do tell us how it is in those streets.

goodbye to the old Yahoo Messenger service

Update: The Old Yahoo Messenger is dead

In June 2016, Yahoo announced that Messenger was being discontinued. Here is the official statement:

While today we provide basic interoperation between the legacy product and the new Messenger, we encourage all of our users to complete their transition to the new Yahoo Messenger as we will no longer support the legacy platform as of August 5, 2016. We intend to continue our focused efforts on the new Messenger, with a goal of delivering the best experience to our users.


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  1. It’s so sad that our almost only chat service provider some not too distant years ago have been relegated to the ground. In this fast paced world of mobile communication technology, you better keep innovating or you will be left behind. Yahoo messenger used to be my one and only chat app some time ago, not anymore. I hardly have anyone buzz me on it. My main chat app now is whatsapp. Then gtalk and facebook chat. I think I will as well go and uninstall yahoo messenger from my mobile. There is no need for it occupying precious ram space. I recently deleted Viber and tango too. I can do with just those three… WhatsApp, Facebook chat and gtalk.
    Bye bye yahoo messenger.

  2. Yeah, Yahoo! Messenger did a good job at a point, but I guess because of the poor performance of other Yahoo! services, Messenger was affected too.

    I’m presently using WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, the latter very sparingly though.

  3. You spoke my mind plus the comments above this. Nothing more to add.

    I keep in touch with friends now via Facebook chat and Whatsapp. Gtalk very sparingly.

  4. Funny enough, I uninstalled Yahoo Messenger from my tablet only this week.

    However, MSN Messenger is the last man standing. Thanks to Skype, it hasn’t totally died out and I do chat to a few people there (not everyone has a smartphone or wants to use Whatsapp).

  5. When you fail to innovate early, you get shoved into the gutters. Still have it on though; I might need it when I want to hide from the crowd of Facebook, Whatsapp and BBM.

  6. I have used yahoo messenger for a long time now, but right now, I only have 1 contact in my list, with whom i talk fairly often. The other contacts share messages with me randomly, once in a while. I cannot think of a better program other than Yahoo: it keeps your privacy, different from Facebook. So I will be probably moving to Google or MSN, or neither. Perhaps I just quit those messaging programs, I am too old for that now!

  7. I’m using Yahoo Messenger regularly till now, even if I’ve got only 1 loyal user left, which is my best friend and I talk to her often. I don’t know why, I’m just keeping myself online, I’m feeling like a zombie apocalypse survivor or whatever. Too many memories happened in Yahoo Messenger (back then when it’s still popular). My boyfriend even proposed via Y!M. Call me stupid, but I think I’ll stay till I’m the last one standing in this granny app. Come on, Yahoo! Wake up! Do something!

  8. I’m late on this, but here’s my thoughts…

    I quit using Y!M because Yahoo is worthlessly slow with their software releases. The iOS version has horrid issues, and there isn’t even a version for Windows Phone, an OS that’s been around for coming up on four years. I realized they’ve given up on it, and since I used it only for talking to one person… It was done.

  9. Well I think Yahoo! Messenger died for some other reasons. The chatting with an unknown person, by just asking “asl pls” used to be fun and it was great fun! Guys used to chat on for hours, days just to find a female. And many times, they used to encounter a guy posing as a female with a fake username!!! That’s was fun and it was the best thing about Yahoo Messenger. But personally I believe, around 2005-2006, Orkut gained popularity. There people could find real people because they had pictures and people started posting their real pics online. But still Yahoo Messenger was there. But soon, Gmail gained popularity, and with in built chat mechanism, people starting merging Orkut and Gmail and started drifting away from Yahoo Messenger!. And then, in a few years time, Facebook came and we all know what happened to Orkut and Yahoo Messenger.

    Personally I have left chatting, though sometimes I find some friend online on Gmail and Facebook.

    But yes, one thing is for sure, Yahoo Messenger was the best thing. I still remember the hours I used to spent chatting with people over there. There used to be chatrooms where you could find anybody, without any real pic or whatever. But now facebook is there and I must say, chatting is dying. Yahoo Messenger used to find a new person, without looking at his profile or face. It was the best mechanism to make a friend.

    With private chatrooms down, Yahoo Messenger started loosing popularity and subsequently it almost died out. I don’t know for how long it will survive. But one thing is for sure, the smileys of Yahoo Messenger were the best and nothing (Skype, Gmail, Facebook or whatever) can beat their smileys…!

  10. Yahoo messenger is old fashioned. You can’t go out to catch fun (cinemas, beaches…etc) and begin to ask for yahoo Ids of cute girls you meet so you can buzz them on Yahoo M… You would look like some weird creature that just escaped from a psychiatric home.

    Whatsapp, twitter, 2go, facebook…etc have taken over.

    Move with the tide…

  11. I still use Yahoo Messenger.. it’s useful for e-mail alerts.

    If anyone wants a yahoo buddy add supahypasonic

  12. There is 3 major reasons that people left YM for other alternatives:
    1. The messages won’t stay forever. They will be deleted automatically after while.
    2. It is very difficult to share things among friends. Have to create a chat room and drag all the people inside it and everything will be removed after the last person leaves the room.
    3. YM is a loner in its own world.

  13. Same kind of revelation stroke me a couple of days ago… I’ve been using Y!M for more than 15 years by now and there are days in a row I don’t see anyone on-line anymore.

    Why that happened …? I’m also trying to understand. Definitely, lack of Windows phone app was a major failure Yahoo did. The raise of WhatsApp took, as well, a significant chunk of loyal Y!M users (you go where most of your friends go, but this is not the cause of its’ decline, it’s the result).

    There is – definitely – an inflation of messaging apps in the past years (GTalk, Facebook Messenger – as mentioned – WhatsApp), but that doesn’t explain why Y!M tool such a hard hit on users count. All others grew, while this simply disappeared.

    It could be bad marketing (getting lazy on the leader position – it happened with Nokia, it happened with Microsoft, it happens with Oracle nowadays…).

    Y!M had (and still has !) most of the features I would need from a messaging app (maybe SMS is kind of lagging here), but nowadays it misses one key ingredient: USERS.

    I feel sorry about its’ decline (not de-installing it – yet – as there are a couple of contacts I only have on Y!M (sigh…)), but I don’t see a chance Y!M to ever get back to what it was. And with current Yahoo management policy, I’m wondering if there is any wish for that.

    And – btw – I stopped using any other messaging app since Y!M faded away (privacy being one of the biggest concerns I have).

  14. Well for one I’m sad, it was the only one with a functional UI and had all the basic features for a pleasant IM conversation. The others lack the basics of a chat software, like font format (yes, some of us enjoyed writing with bold or italic sometimes!) or drag and drop ANY file format (Skype does that too now, but its user experience is horrendous).

  15. Tried logging in on my ym account but was not able to go through. So, it’s either I’m putting the wrong password or it’s really dead – though I highly doubt the first since I can still access my yahoo email.

    Sad… Even though I do not use it as much, I still have connections there whom I have seen online consistently each and everytime I log in once in a blue moon.

  16. FaceBook chat and WhatsApp killed Yahoo messenger. Started to use it 13 years ago in 2003 after I was 2 years on MSN messenger. I haven’t used it on a daily basis 2-3 years by now… Great memories though related to this service. Was part 10 years ago of meeting my wife. Great great memories! The alternative service is FB chat.

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