Wow, it’s an end of an era indeed. MSN Messenger (later Windows Live Messenger) was Microsoft’s answer to AOL Instant Messenger, but to the rest of the world, it was the better alternative to ICQ – when ICQ went from awesome to bloated and slow. MSN Messenger was the shiny new kid in town, light, easy to use and most of all it didn’t hog a lot of processing power. Everyone who was anyone was on it – until just like ICQ, they started adding too many extras (like video chat, emojis, etc.) and things got bloated and slow.
My favorite thing to do was to remain invisible and stalk the people who came online. Messaging those I wanted to chat with ‘secretly’ as to not reveal to others that I was online. Ah the conceit.
Well, after a long 15 years, Microsoft is finally pulling the plug in China in October. In 2013 Microsoft had switched off the app for most users and pushed them towards using Skype after they purchased the rival company – all except China. But even users there will now have till October 31 to switch to Skype.
Yes kids, before Facebook, heck before social networking was even a thing, there was MSN Messenger. And instead of asking people to add you on Facebook, you said, “Add me on MSN!”
So farewell to a memory from our collective youth. I believe Dave Lee from BBC said it best when he waxed lyrical an obituary he wrote:
“It touched the lives of millions of teenagers who, in an age before real social networking, were just getting accustomed to what it was like to live on the internet.
MSN Messenger heralded a new era: a time when chatting up a classmate no longer meant the terrifying prospect of actually having to say something to them.
It meant no longer would young teens have to endure the torture of ringing the landline number of their newest crush – knowing there was a high probability that dad would pick up.”
Goodbye old friend…