Lots of netizens are feeling emotional as one of the first messenger services to be launched when internet itself was not that popular, Yahoo Messenger or YM, goes off the radar effective today, July 17. The announcement that the app will be withdrawn on this date has been made some time back but the reality hits only when something is not there anymore.

As an alternative arrangement, users have the choice to use the Squirrel service which has the chat and other features that YM offered. The Squirrel app is available on both Android and iOS for download. While YM users will be automatically redirected to Squirrel, new users can ask for an invite to join Squirrel and take it forward from there.

People who have been using Yahoo Messenger recall how the service was first made public in 1998 and it was then named Yahoo Pager. The very next year, the name got changed to Yahoo Messenger and the instant communications tool bringing down geographical boundaries thrilled one and all. It has to be noted that YM as it was earlier functioning was shut down three years back and reintroduced in a new avatar which is also being withdrawn now.

Yahoo Messenger was the main business of Yahoo and it was taken over by Verizon but later it was merged with AOL. AOL owns the Squirrel messenger service and that is what is promoted by AOL now, in place of YM.

If you have a Yahoo Messenger account, hopefully you went through an earlier piece on these columns where the ways to download your chat history and keep it on your mobile or desktop were outlined. You will need the Account Key to download the chat history. If you are shifting to Squirrel, there is a way to shift the YM chat history to a separate folder within Squirrel.

Once you have the data you need, you should uninstall the Yahoo app from your device.

There are already many messages and memories being exchanged on the net about YM and how many couples managed to know each other through the messenger service and are now feeling sad to see it go.