Oath, the Verizon subsidiary that operates Yahoo, announced Friday that it will shut down Yahoo Messenger next month. Users won’t be able to access the service after July 17 anymore, according to a message posted to the Yahoo help forums.
“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,” the message reads. “As the communications landscape continues to change over, we’re focusing on building and introducing new, exciting communications tools that better fit consumer needs.”
Yahoo released the first version of Messenger under the name Yahoo Pager in March of 1998. Since then, the service had been used by hundreds of millions of internet users. In its heyday, Yahoo Messenger was directly competing with other popular messaging apps like ICQ, AOL’s AIM and Microsoft Messenger.
But while these services were extremely popular on desktop PCs, they were quickly surpassed by other services on mobile devices, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat. Faced with declining usage, Oath also decided to shut down AIM in December.
Yahoo Messenger users have six months to download their chat history. The company said that it doesn’t currently have a replacement for the service, but told users that they can sign up for an invite of its new group messaging app Squirrel.