Yahoo Messenger loses raft of features in business streamlining

Yahoo Messenger loses raft of features in business streamlining

Summary: The instant messaging client is set to lose interoperability with Windows Live Messenger, along with its Chat Rooms, Pingbox and paid-for VoIP features.


Yahoo is to shutter several features of its instant messaging tool, Yahoo Messenger, in a bid to free up its resources for developing new features.

Yahoo is closing some features on its Messenger service. Image: CNET

Most of the doomed features — Public Chat Rooms, Pingbox and Windows Live Messenger interoperability — will be axed on 14 December. On 30 January, Yahoo will also stop offering its paid-for Jajah-based VoIP features, Yahoo Voice Phone In and Phone Out.

"Sometimes… we have to make tough decisions, like closing down features that we feel aren't adding enough value for you," Yahoo said in a Friday 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 modernising our core Yahoo products experiences and of course, create new ones."

Yahoo is indeed in a period of great flux, with new chief executive Marissa Mayer — who took the reins in July — undertaking a wide review of the business.

IM features RIP

Yahoo Chat Rooms has proved to be a troublesome feature for the company at times, notably when underage sex-themed rooms were revealed in 2005. The feature has effectively been phased out over recent years, with users losing the ability to create new rooms.

Pingbox is a box that can be embedded on a webpage, allowing visitors to send instant messages to the page's owner.

The loss of Windows Live Messenger interoperability is not a surprise, as that Microsoft product is itself due to disappear — Microsoft is merging it with Skype. Weirdly, Yahoo said in its post that Microsoft contacts would still appear in the Yahoo Messenger contacts list, but greyed out and uncontactable.

Yahoo and Jajah's co-branded landline and mobile service has been around since 2008 but, effective immediately, users can no longer add new funds to their accounts. Anyone who still has funds in their accounts for the Skype-rivalling service will get instructions this month regarding refunds.

However, Yahoo stressed that free Messenger-to-Messenger voice calls would stay possible.

Topics: Collaboration, Networking

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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  • Well, honestly most people have moved on . . .

    "Most of the doomed features — Public Chat Rooms, Pingbox and Windows Live Messenger interoperability — will be axed on 14 December."

    Honestly - most people have moved on. I haven't visited a chat room in what - 10 years or so? I can't even remember.

    Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are the new public chat rooms. If you want to have a public chat, you go to those services.

    Dunno what Pingbox even is, heh.

    Windows Live Messenger is gonna die anyways - it's being moved to Skype.

    Honestly, I don't know where Yahoo can go from here. All I use them for anymore is IM chat with certain friends. And even there, I use Trillian, not Yahoo's official client.
  • Chatwing excellent to Pingbox

    Chatwing makes for an excellent tool similiar to Yahoo Chatrooms and Yahoo Pingbox
  • Another Bad News

    Another Bad News from Yahoo. Yahoo is going to close its public chat rooms from Dec. 14th 2012. Millions of online users use to start their chatting habits with yahoo public chat rooms and keep using it for hours long. Yahoo is the biggest public chat room space of internet and perhaps bear the load of vast online chat activity as well .
    i never thought you guys would do this...
    Chat rooms are good for making new friends,
    i have made alot of friends from them. But if cha
    t is closed...then thank god there is .
    Roberta Harty Romey
  • success

    Yahoo! has announced some changes to its Messenger services.
    According to the Yahoo! Messenger blog.
  • MagChat

    I use MagChat already... free and no spam or bots
    Mark Gundy