Yahoo Office

After 18 years of operations, Yahoo announced it is shuttering its old Yahoo Messenger service. The company said that the legacy versions of Yahoo Messenger will not be available from August 5th. Engadget points out that third party apps built on top of Yahoo’s API will no longer be able to send and recieve messages.

However, Yahoo announced a new Messenger in December 2015 updated with features features like instant photo sharing, support for GIFs, and also an option to unsend messages. Currently, a basic interoperation between the older product and the new Messenger is provided, enabling the two versions to work together as a combined system.

“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,” Yahoo added.

At the time, Yahoo claimed to have over 225 million monthly users.  The new Messenger is available on the App Store and Google Play.

The archived messages were earlier saved in the user’s Yahoo Mail, but as of August 5, those will be deleted as well. To save these archives, users can export them to the desktop or laptop. In the new Yahoo Messenger, messages and conversations will be saved in their respective chat windows.

Discontinuing Yahoo Recommends: The company will also discontinue Yahoo Recommends on September 1, 2016. It is a personalised widget that provides links to related stories to the reader. It stated that for publishers to continue monetizing their platform, publishers can go to Yahoo Gemini, a new monetization tool.

Bot development:  Although Yahoo hasn’t stated any plans for integrating its messenger service with chat bots, earlier this month, the company had launched its first three chat bots for the Kik messenger – yahoonews, yahooweather and MonkeyPets.

A number of services are opening their chat apps to bot development.

Last month, Facebook had launched the Messenger Send/Receive API that supports bot development on its chat platform to all developers. It could provide various kinds of bots on Messenger, including for weather, traffic updates, shopping receipts, shipping notifications and live automated messages etc., which users can access by interacting with services that provide them.

In April, the messaging app Kik had rolled out a bot store with 16 bots including from Vine, The Weather Channel etc.

In March, Online content discovery platform Outbrain had launched “Outbrain for Chat,” a service that enables any publisher to launch applications or content bots across the leading Messaging platforms. including Telegram, Kik and Slack.

Telegram seems to have a host of bots built for it, one from Engadget as well. The same month, TechCrunch launched an artificial intelligence news bot Telegram, powered by Chatfuel.

In India, media startup FactorDaily also employs a news bot called Regina, which stores links shared in Slack and can apparently crack Star Wars jokes.

Other Developments

Although the future of the Messenger will remain uncertain, as Yahoo’s core business, including its chat service, is up for sale. Verizon and AT&T have been set to make the final round of bids for Yahoo web assets, according to Reuters.

It is currently in the second round of bidding. Verizon and a number of private equity firms, including TPG, had placed bids in the first round. Yahoo’s core value is estimated to be worth around $4 billion to $8 billion.

Update: The headline was changed to better reflect the story