Featured Article from Conferencing

Yahoo Messenger Gets Cut to Rebuild

December 10, 2012

Yahoo Messenger is ready to develop many new features, but before that, it has to make room for them. As such, we’ll be seeing several current features get the axe on December 14th, with more to follow by the end of January.

The first features to get cut will be Public Chat Rooms, Pingbox, and interoperability with Windows Live Messenger. The WLM interoperability will likely be the biggest issue, as it will cut many people off from parts of their contacts, and force them to get Windows Live Messenger, or their friends to get Yahoo Messenger. Of course, that’s not too big a loss, since Windows Live Messenger itself will be vanishing and merging with Skype soon enough.

On January 30th, Yahoo Messenger’s paid services will also come to an end. So that means no Jajah-based VoIP features, and no Yahoo Voice Phone In or Phone Out. So if you are paying for them now, or were considering starting, I’d advise to make the most out of the few months remaining then cut your losses.

That said, the losses aren’t exactly the worst things that could happen. The Yahoo Chat Rooms haven’t been the most outstanding or upstanding feature on the site (a risk all chat rooms run, but Yahoo has a level of respectability it should try to maintain). Windows Live Messenger, as previously mentioned, won’t last much longer either, so it’s a branch that can be cut. While the landline and mobile service offered by Yahoo and Jajah will no longer be accepting new funds, those still using it will be able to get the most out of the funds they’ve already paid, so there’s no loss to customers.

"Sometimes… we have to make tough decisions, like closing down features that we feel aren't adding enough value for you," was the announcement in Yahoo’s blog post. "This helps us spend more energy on creating experiences that make Yahoo the most fun way to spend your time. With this in mind, we have decided to discontinue several Yahoo product features. This will enable us to refocus our efforts on modernizing our core Yahoo products experiences and of course, create new ones."

While there may be some complaints about the change to Yahoo Messenger, this is the cycle of death and rebirth for technology. Old features fade away and give way to new and better things, which Yahoo hopes to introduce soon. So, while some may be paying a fond farewell to the chat rooms and Pingbox, I’m more looking forward to seeing what comes next.

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