FINALLY WAKING FROM a decade-long creativity slumber, Yahoo has a bright new idea for the future of messaging. Do you want to tell them it looks incredibly familiar, or should we?
Six years after Yahoo Messenger was last updated, and three months after it was taken out the back and unceremoniously shot, Oath has some fresh new ideas for messaging. Like rooms and threads and private chat channels with GIFs!
Never mind the fact that you can already get this from Slack or Microsoft Teams - wouldn't you rather have your chat managed by a company best remembered for losing 500 million members' data just four years ago?
If you unbelievably answered ‘yes' to that question, then Yahoo Together may actually be for you, and you can download it now for iOS or Android. You'll need to dust off your Yahoo account to get in, mind.
Do that, and you're greeted with an interface that looks nearly identical to Slack. Okay, they're called ‘topics' rather than ‘channels', and Yahoo clearly wants you using it to discuss dinner plans and shopping rather than spreadsheets and expenses, but the similarity is undeniable, right down to the colour scheme and emoji reactions.
Only it doesn't have voice calls or support anything beyond a mobile app. So it's ideal for those people that don't like to be hampered by features or convenience.
Is there anything that could be, uh, ‘inspirational' to its rivals? ‘Smart Reminders' is quite a good idea - it allows you to tag any message in a chat to be surfaced again at a time of your choosing with notifications for all.
You can also use ‘Blast' to highlight your message in a bright colour, which is a helpful way to draw attention to someone who's asking to be muted.
Finally, Together features "powerful search" for sorting through the message flotsam - because if there's one thing Yahoo knows beyond tight data security, it's search.
Adequate as all this may be, short of creating a weather app, it's hard to know what Yahoo could have done to enter a more crowded space. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Slack, Teams, Line, Telegram and Hangouts already have this space sewn up, so why would anyone switch to Yahoo Together?
‘Yahoo Alone' may not be so catchy, but it'll almost certainly prove more apt. µ
We should be shocked, but...
But the search giant has now squashed the bug
But it's not yet available here in Blighty