Email, Messaging, & Video Calls Texting & Messaging What Was Yahoo Messenger? Is there a Yahoo Messenger replacement? By Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated March 03, 2020 Texting & Messaging Email Texting & Messaging Video Calls Tweet Share Email Yahoo Messenger was an instant messaging service from Yahoo! that was provided for mobile devices through the smartphone app and desktop users through the web and a software program. Yahoo! shut down Yahoo Messenger on July 17, 2018. However, it isn't the only IM program available; there are lots of Yahoo Messenger alternatives that work in basically the same way. What Was Yahoo Messenger? Yahoo! The Yahoo Messenger app was much like other messaging apps. You could send free texts to your friends using the internet, and it worked on a variety of platforms. This meant you could install the Yahoo Messenger app on your phone or tablet, or pull it up on your computer, to send free texts without paying for a texting service. Beyond text was support for other things, too, like GIFs, images, emoticons, and other files. As long as you had a valid internet connection, whether Wi-Fi or from a mobile data plan, you could communicate with friends and family absolutely free of charge. Lots of changes were made to Yahoo Messenger over the years. It was released in 1998 as Yahoo! Pager with a built-in chat room service before being renamed to Yahoo Messenger a year later. Features came and went, including the LAUNCHcast Radio plugin, in-chat YouTube streaming and gaming, VoIP, video calling, Yahoo! 360 integration, voicemail, Flickr support, and the ability to chat with Facebook friends. Why Did Yahoo Messenger Shut Down? It's not uncommon for services, especially long-lasting ones like Yahoo Messenger, to reach an end. The company evolves, users drop out, competing services emerge, the service loses money, etc. According to Yahoo!, they ended Yahoo Messenger to divert time and resources to other communication tools: As the communications landscape continues to change, we're focused on building and introducing new, exciting communications tools that better fit consumer needs. Yahoo Messenger Replacements There are dozens of apps you can use instead of Yahoo Messenger, such as Facebook Messenger, Skype, WhatsApp, and Signal. However, what you choose to replace Yahoo Messenger should depend on what you want it to do. For example, if you're wanting to make free calls, there are lots of ways to call someone using just an app. Or maybe you're wanting to make free video calls from your computer, or send free texts. Most messaging apps actually include all of those features; they let you make audio and video calls, send and receive texts, and share files. Some, like Facebook Messenger, are more closely related to Yahoo Messenger than others and can run from your phone/tablet, computer, and a web browser. Yahoo! introduced its own alternative to Yahoo Messenger in 2018, initially called Yahoo! Squirrel and then Yahoo Together. However, after just a year, on April 4, 2019, it was shut down, too. Even though Yahoo Messenger is gone, you can still use your Yahoo account for other things like accessing Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Groups.