Yahoo on Thursday launched a completely revamped version of its chat app Yahoo Messenger on Android, iOS, and the Web. The company says it has redesigned Yahoo Messenger from the ground up across platforms, which introduces a cleaner, less cluttered look to the service.
Jeff Bonforte, Senior Vice President of Communication Products and Engineering at Yahoo said, "We're excited to introduce the next generation of Yahoo Messenger. It has long been one of our core products but it was time to redesign the product from the ground up and reinvest in one of the most important products in our history as a company."
This continues Yahoo's bid to revive core services, and follows the company's revamps of photo sharing service Flickr, Yahoo Weather, and Yahoo Mail. Yahoo Messenger has fallen behind popular apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and perhaps even upstarts such as Snapchat. But Yahoo wants to change that with this redesign.
Yahoo Messenger has quite a few new features too. When you share multiple photos within the app, they appear in a grid that scrolls horizontally. These pictures can be downloaded in full resolution, which is a plus over apps such as WhatsApp - where photos are compressed. You can also like these photos within the app now. In order to save storage space on your smartphone, Yahoo Messenger will only download photos as you need them.
Yahoo Messenger users can now unsend messages too. If you've sent a message accidentally, you can now reverse the action in two taps, if you're using the revamped Yahoo Messenger. The app also allows its users to search for and send gif images. Gif image search in the app is powered by Tumblr, which Yahoo acquired in 2013. The unsend feature works for all kinds of messages - text and media included.
Yahoo Messenger also gets Yahoo's account key passwordless login system. Another vital feature is support for offline messaging, which means that if your Internet connection is down you can continue to send messages in the app. These will be delivered once you're back online.
"The messaging space has grown dramatically, yet people ultimately want a fast and easy way to communicate with each other. The new Yahoo Messenger was designed first and foremost to meet those needs. This is just the beginning of what's to come," Bonforte added.
Some of the new features - such as the ability to unsend messages, to like photos, offline messaging and the horizontally scrolling photo drawer- seem to have been incorporated from messaging app BeamIt. BeamIt and parent company Cooliris were acquired by Yahoo in November 2014.