updated 07:10 pm EST, Mon December 3, 2012
Chat rooms, Pingbox, MS Messenger all get the axe
Yahoo announced last week that it would be shuttering a number of features in Yahoo Messenger and Yahoo Voice that the company feels "aren't adding enough value" for users. Chief among these will be the closing of the public chat rooms on Yahoo Messenger. Yahoo will also be shutting down Pingbox for Yahoo Messenger, ending Messenger's interoperability with Microsoft Windows Live Messenger, and closing Yahoo Voice's Phone In and Phone Out feature.
The changes to Yahoo Messenger will go into effect on December 14, 2012. Microsoft buddies will still appear in users' Messenger contact list, but they will be greyed out and users will not be able to deliver messages to them.
Yahoo Voice will lose its phone features a bit later, on January 30, 2013. As of November 30, users were no longer able to add new funds to their accounts. Active users with a balance in their accounts will receive emailed instructions this month on how to request a refund. Yahoo will still offer free Messenger-to-Messenger calls.