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Yahoo Messenger Is Shutting Down, and Oil Traders Sound Pretty Bummed About It

If you’re not a fan of the oil industry, we’ve got great news for you this week — for once, they won’t be getting their way. Now that Yahoo’s internet presence belongs to Verizon, some legacy services aren’t going to survive. One of those is Yahoo Messenger, the long-running instant messaging service that competed with IRC, AOL Instant Messenger, and MSN Messenger back in the early days of instant messaging. Outside of the more technical IRC, Yahoo Messenger was the first instant messaging service to get up and running, and early adopters have built a long list of contacts over the years, without finding much reason to switch services since. Well, they’re looking for alternatives now — Yahoo began shutting down Yahoo Messenger late last week, and will hit the lights for good on August 31.

So, who were those early adopters who adamantly refused to switch messaging services long after Yahoo’s fortunes had dried up? Funny enough, it was people in the business of making fortunes. Oil traders, along with analysts and journalists who also covered the industry, all used the service faithfully over the years. Feels appropriate that a legacy industry would stand by a legacy service.

Reuters report looks at how oilmen and women came to rely on Yahoo Messenger after getting in on instant messaging early and building up their contact lists. As we well know, the number of messaging apps has exploded since the late ’90s, making it next to impossible to get everyone you want or need to talk to on one service. And, unless that whole industry comes together and settles on a new service (insert price fixing joke here), the convenience of having everyone on one service is exactly what those users will be losing at the end of this month. Even if they made that decision, a Quartz report from earlier this year suggests that those longtime users find switching to be too much of a hassle (insert renewable energy joke here), although finding a service that complies with regulations requiring chats to be recorded is also a concern.

So, if switching is too much of a hassle, how will these poor souls communicate with each other going forward? By moving backwards in time to telephone calls, of course. This story is too perfect.

Via Business Today