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Oil Traders Mourn The Loss Of Yahoo Messenger

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here's some news you might have missed at the time - when Yahoo announced it would be up for sale earlier this year, many of us probably did not think too much about it because Yahoo has been second for years to Google in things like mail service.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

But at least one group of people has been distraught - oil traders. And they're lamenting the final days of their main communication tool - Yahoo Messenger. In the late 1990s, people in the oil trading business started using Yahoo Messenger to log in trades.

ERNIE BARSAMIAN: It was first, number one. It was free, number two, and it had a convenience about it. You can't have three telephone conversations at once, but you can have three or 10 different Yahoo exchanges at once. And that became an efficient way to almost multiply the number of hours you had to do trade.

INSKEEP: That's Ernie Barsamian, CEO of Tank Tiger, a brokerage company, who was so distraught when Yahoo announced it would be shutting down its messaging service, as we know it, that he wrote an ode of sorts and sent it out in his weekly newsletter.

BARSAMIAN: What was once a novelty, Yahoo Instant Message, a whole trading industry it begat. But Marissa Mayer abandoned us like old underwear at a laundromat.

GREENE: I see what he did there. Barsamian has already switched off all of his contacts over to a new messaging system and found that, despite his worries, it was pretty simple. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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