Verizon Communications through Oath Inc. has announced that it is shutting down Yahoo Messenger from July 17, 2018, for a better communication tool in a new tech landscape.

The announcement directed all users to download their chat histories within the next six months.

For many Nigerians, Yahoo Messenger was their first point of contact with the Internet. At some point also, Yahoo Messenger was a window for Internet fraudsters in the country to thrive. Despite its reduced use and relevance in Nigeria over the years, it holds a distinct place in Nigeria’s Internet history.

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In an FAQ about the announcement, Yahoo said: “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. As the communications landscape continues to change over, we’re focusing on building and introducing new, exciting communications tools that better fit consumer needs.

The web services provider said there is no direct replacement for Yahoo Messenger, but it is working on a group messaging app called Squirrel, which is currently in beta and only available to those with an invitation.

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After July 17, 2018, you won’t be able to access or sign in to Yahoo Messenger. We recommend that you delete the app after you’ve downloaded your chat history and anything else you’d like to save,” the company said in a blog post.

The company, however, said user’s Yahoo ID will continue to work for other Yahoo products, like Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Fantasy, etc.

Yahoo! Messenger was first launched on January 7, 1997, as it was confirmed to be a feature on the very first release of Yahoo! Pager. On March 9, 1998, the first public version of Yahoo! Pager was released, with Yahoo! Chat among its features.

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