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Yahoo! to shut down public chat rooms

  • Yahoo! announced on Tuesday it is to permanently shut down the public chat rooms feature of its messaging tool.

    In a a blog post, it said it would replace the tool as well as other services being removed, with new features.

    The chat rooms tool came under scrutiny in 2005 after advertisers pulled out following reports of illegal under-age sex-themed rooms.

    Yahoo closed a number of chat rooms that year including "girls 13 & up for much older men," "teen girls for older fat men" and "8-12 yo (year-old) girls for older men".

    Many of the rooms were in the "Schools and education" and "Teen" chat categories.

    Yahoo! said the feature was being axed because it was not "adding enough value" for users.

    Along with public chat rooms, Pingbox and Windows Live Messenger interoperability are due to be removed on December 14.

    Yahoo Messenger is one of the earliest online messaging tools and was launched in 1998.