CORRECTED-As Yahoo Messenger shuts down, oil traders bid a fond farewell

Mon Aug 8, 2016 4:14am EDT
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(Corrects paragraph 2 to say Yahoo Messenger would begin shutting down on Aug. 5 and will stop working on Aug. 31, 2016.)

By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE Aug 5 (Reuters) - As European and American markets open on Friday, oil traders face a new era with Yahoo Messenger, the main tool used by traders to communicate since the late 1990s, shutting down.

Yahoo Inc said it would begin shutting down older versions of Yahoo Messenger on Aug. 5 and it will stop working on Aug. 31.

A raft of alternatives exist, but many oil industry users say they will dearly miss Yahoo Messenger, with even the odd tear being shed in memory of what became a much loved tool in an otherwise unsentimental industry.

"You have no idea how much I'll miss Yahoo Messenger. I built up hundreds of contacts on it over more than a decade. I have Yahoo friends I have never met, but with whom I spent many hours bantering and joking. It also made me a lot of money. Now that it's gone, I could cry," said a senior oil trader in Singapore who has been in the business for 20 years.

With Yahoo Messenger's end, the oil industry has to deal with a fragmented communication market, which some say will force the market back to the telephone.

"Yahoo was great as an aggregator for all commodity participants so I think any cross-broking from one messenger platform may mean people use the old friend - the phone," said Matt Stanley, a fuel oil broker at Freight Investor Services in Dubai.

"So in some kind of ironic way, you may see stronger relationships formed now people have to interact the old school way," he added.   Continued...