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Yahoo Messenger: Fading nostalgia

Yahoo Messenger: Fading nostalgia

Yahoo Messenger: Fading nostalgia
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By Salmanul Farisy  Jul 21, 2018 5:46:41 PM IST (Published)

Even before makers of WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat, WeChat and other chatting apps thought about the idea, and even when the internet itself was not that mainstream commodity, Yahoo Messenger wanted to bring together people in 1998 - exactly 20 years before.

There was a time, in the late 90s, when Indian kids would wait in long queues in front of cyber cafes – just to play their favourite video games on a computer. For a country that had just sown the seeds of liberalisation into its economy, it was nothing less than fancy.

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Looking back, when, I – a 27-year-old and a part of that generation, a bittersweet taste of nostalgia layers my senses. Back then, the options were very limited, no 3D games, no YouTube, no WhatsApp, even the internet was very limited. And today, a part of that nostalgic recollection faded a tad more.
“Yahoo Messenger will no longer be supported after July 17, 2018. Until then, you can continue to use the service normally. After July 17, you'll no longer be able to access your chats, and the services will no longer work,” read a statement from Yahoo! last Friday.
Even before makers of WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat, WeChat and other chatting apps thought about the idea, and even when the internet itself was not that mainstream commodity, Yahoo Messenger wanted to bring together people in 1998 - exactly 20 years before.
Yahoo Messenger or YM, as it was cheerfully known, was developed by Jerry Yang and David Filo. It was one of the first messenger services to be launched, and went off the radar silently on July 17. Oath, the subsidiary of telecom giant Verizon that operates Yahoo, has announced the final wrap-up of YM.
The messenger was first made public in 1998 as "Yahoo Pager" - an alternative to email and short message service (SMS) on basic mobile devices. Today, as it the messenger logs out for the last time, lots of netizens felt emotional. For a 90s kid like me, YM acted as a means to connect to the world, friends, strangers. In fact, this was one of the first experiences of the World Wide Web.
The internet, the largest social commodity, especially Twitter was flooded with nostalgic messages. However, there is some consolation. Users can download chat history for six months, would be redirected to the new group messaging app Squirrel, while doing so.
“Currently, there isn't a replacement product available for Yahoo Messenger,” the company said. The company further stated that it is experimenting with new services and apps. 'Yahoo Squirrel' – an invite-only group messaging app, which is currently in its beta form, being one of them.
The news of Yahoo Messenger's demise is not entirely shocking considering the stiff competition it faced from the likes of WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. And, looking at the way artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality is spreading its wings, who knows how long we will be logged onto Facebook, or changing WhatsApp statuses.
But for now, #RIP #YahooMessenger.
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