Yahoo logo
A Yahoo logo is displayed on a monitor in this photo illustration in Encinitas, California, on 16 April 2013Mike Blake/Reuters

Yahoo is officially shutting down its old-school legacy Messenger application on 5 August for good after the company launched a newly redesigned, cross-platform version of the app in 2015. After nearly two decades of sending countless messages, emojis and "ASL plz" requests through the iconic purple and white chat boxes, users will no longer be able to log in or chat with friends through the old version after that date.

First launched in 1998 under the name "Yahoo Pager," the once-popular, ancient Messenger application is no longer available to download from Yahoo either.

"While today we provide basic interoperation between the legacy product and the new Messenger, we encourage all of our users to complete their transition to the new Yahoo Messenger as we will no longer support the legacy platform as of August 5, 2016," Yahoo chief architect Amotz Maimon wrote in a Tumblr post. "We intend to continue our focused efforts on the new Messenger, with a goal of delivering the best experience to our users."

The company is also shutting down its Yahoo Recommends service — a personalised widget that shows readers links to other related content and advertising — on 1 September.

In December 2015, Yahoo announced a more modern version of the chat service's app for mobile, the Web and Yahoo's email service to compete with other chat rivals such as WhatsApp, Snapchat and Google's Gchat. The revamped version features a built-in GIF search, instant, high-resolution photo sharing and group chat support. Users can also "like" individual messages, like you do on Facebook and Twitter, and unsend messages at any time.

"We're excited to introduce the next generation of Yahoo Messenger. It has long been one of our core products but it was time to redesign the product from the ground up and reinvest in one of the most important products in our history as a company," Jeff Bonforte, Yahoo's senior vice president of communication products and engineering , said in a statement announcing the app's relaunch. "The messaging space has grown dramatically, yet people ultimately want a fast and easy way to communicate with each other. The new Yahoo Messenger was designed first and foremost to meet those needs. This is just the beginning of what's to come."

In 2014, Microsoft killed off its once-popular instant messaging service MSN Messenger as well.

The new Yahoo Messenger app is available to download on the App Store and Google Play.