Yahoo still wants your data. Despite having basically proven its inability to protect its own customers, it’s still having a go at getting users to put more and more of their personal lives under its care. After all, it has a new owner, Verizon’s Oath, so maybe a new culture. And most importantly, it has a new chat service. After finally putting Yahoo! Messenger to rest and experimenting with a Yahoo-less Squirrel Chat, the company is now bringing out Yahoo Together. And, no, it doesn’t have an exclamation point in its name this time.
Of all of Yahoo’s services, Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Messenger have probably been the only ones that survived the test of time and the onslaught of rivals. Well, as of June, this year, Yahoo Mail was the last one standing. But even before it shutdown, Yahoo was seen playing around with a new group chat called Squirrel, which eventually became this new Yahoo Together.
But enough about the past. After all, Yahoo Together is meant to address present concerns. Specifically the chaos that group SMS chats bring. Do people still actually use “group SMS”? Either way, Yahoo Together promises group chats that won’t drive you insane, by letting you create custom groups revolving around a specific topic.
So you can invite anyone and everyone in your address book but only deal with your siblings for mom’s surprise birthday party. Or have a secret clique that talks about others in your address book that isn’t part of that conversation. So instead of having 10 people talking about 18 different things at once, you can group them into 18 different topics, with all of those 10 people in the same chat rooms.
Yahoo Together does advertise some features not all instant messaging apps provide. Those make it easy to share photos and files but never make it easy to search for them after the fact. They don’t also let you set alarms to remind everyone in the chat about that so important group date. Yahoo Together does.
The question is, of course, who will use Yahoo Together. While it is available for both Android and iOS, the pull of instant messaging services, like social networks, is the number of your friends already using the same service. And as far as Yahoo’s services are concerned, that circle might be very, very, very small.