PhotoAfter 20 years in operation, Yahoo Messenger will be shutting down on July 17.

The news -- which was announced by Oath, a Verizon subsidiary that owns both Yahoo and AOL -- comes six months after AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) was shut down.

Competition from messaging apps built by Skype, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook has made it difficult for Yahoo Messenger to stay relevant. Going forward, Yahoo says it will be “focusing on building and introducing new, exciting communications tools that better fit consumer needs.”

The company is redirecting users to its new group messaging application, Squirrel.

“There currently isn’t a replacement product available for Yahoo Messenger. We’re constantly experimenting with new services and apps, one of which is an invite-only group messaging app called Yahoo Squirrel (currently in beta),” Oath said.

Consumers can request access to the beta version of Squirrel here.

For the next six months, users can download their chat history from Yahoo Messenger by visiting this website, signing in with their Yahoo account, choosing a verification method, and then entering an email address where the download can be sent.


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