The Stack Archive

Yahoo Messenger revamp joins the ‘unsend’ trend

Thu 3 Dec 2015

Yahoo have unveiled a new version of its Messenger app, which now includes the same ‘unsend’ functionality which Viber announced last week, permitting users to take control of years’ worth of inbox messages and delete any message they sent to a user at any time from that user’s inbox.

The primary reconfiguration of Yahoo Messenger involves turning message threads into cloud-based assemblies, so that photos and other attachments that would normally occupy space on the recipient’s phone will instead be representative links to private net content – web pages, if you like. The new Messenger iteration uses an underlying technology called Iris, a development of technology which the once-indomitable web giant purchased over a year ago. CoolIris made its name with the invention a ‘3D wall’ facility in the late noughties, and in that period its main public presence was as a Firefox browser plugin.

The revamp also leverages the picture power of Tumblr, now a Yahoo product, and pushes the sending of animated GIFs as a popular and practical alternative to emojis. Since Tumblr has done more than any other web entity to revive the animated GIF as a popular method of comment, this represents the company finally getting some value out of the $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr in 2013. Regular Tumblr users will also have noted the increasing space that contra deals and sponsorship is taking up in the dashboard, although this has taken a very long time to manifest.

The new Yahoo Messenger also features a Smart Contacts innovation which claims to have a better understanding of the relationships between your contacts, i.e. in relation to each other rather than you. This feature is powered by Xobni’s platform.

Additionally Messenger has an ‘offline’ mode which allows the user to continue to send messages and photos in periods of zero connectivity, with the stored activity actually sending to recipients once the user is back on the net.

Messenger also leverages Flickr, another significant photo-sharing entity owned by Yahoo. The company has been struggling to re-find its niche ever since its total eclipse by Google in the early noughties, and now seems to be betting big on high-res image sharing as a draw.

As for the new version’s prime draw, you already know what we think about deleting messages from other people’s inboxes, but it’s there if you want it.


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