Yahoo Messenger rides off into the sunset

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Yahoo Messenger is slated to shut down on July 17, 2018. Most Filipinos recalled how the messaging service has affected them in different ways. (Flickr/Phil Wolff)

Yahoo Messenger is slated to discontinue its services on July 17, 2018, prompting many Filipinos to recall their fondest memories of what was once the Philippine’s most popular chat messaging platform.

According to its mother company Yahoo, they wanted to focus more on “building and introducing new (and) exciting communication tools” in the midst of the evolving communication landscape.

While there are no announced replacements for the messaging service, the tech giant said that they would be testing out Yahoo Squirrel, an invite-only group messaging service.

It is still in beta mode but people can request access on its website. It can also be downloaded from Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Users’ Yahoo ID can still be used despite YM’s discontinuation. They can still access their Yahoo Mail through their respective accounts.

Impact of Yahoo Messenger to the Filipinos 

For Filipinos, Yahoo Messenger introduced them to the wonders of instant chat messaging.

It gained popularity in the 2000’s before Facebook Messenger dominated the local instant messaging sphere.

When reports of the messaging service shutting down reached the public, they shared some of their fondest memories online.

Maintaining long-distance relationships 

Most recounted that Yahoo Messenger enabled them to stay connected to their loved ones and family members through its chat and video call features.

Avenue for meeting their soulmates 

For others, it was where they met the love of their lives. This is not a surprise since in 2017, a report emerged that stated “half of all Filipinos use (the) internet and online dating apps” in order to look for a potential partner.

Fostering and enriching friendships 

For others, it was where they enriched their friendships with different people. The messaging service allows users to create chat rooms where they could add people and name group chats on their own preference.

The “Buzz” feature 

Others recalled how they would miss what is arguably the most popular and amusing feature in the instant messaging service — the “Buzz” feature.

It enables users to notify their chatmates to reply immediately or ASAP by clicking the “Buzz” option in the chat window.

Emergence of different messaging services 

An article on CNN Philippines noted that Yahoo Messenger has been the “butt of jokes” because of its “inability to keep up with the times, even after buying the highly popular microblogging platform Tumblr.”

Its writer, Gaby Gloria, added that she was not even aware of the period she has completely stopped using the messaging service.

“I’m not completely sure when I stopped using YM. Probably sometime after Facebook introduced the chat function and before I became permanently glued to my phone screen,” she said.

Other instant messaging services eventually emerged on the landscape of digital communication, such as Facebook Messenger, Viber and WhatsApp. (Flickr/iphoneditigal)

The emergence of different instant messaging services and social media eventually offered more interesting features.

Facebook Messenger, for instance, has become popular because it enables users to connect with people and access their personal social media feeds on its main website.

Other messaging services that are popular among Filipinos are Viber and WhatsApp, while social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram also enable its users to send private messages.