Do you remember using MSN Messenger? I mean. that was super advanced for it's time. I was in high school and it meant instead of asking my parents to use the phone and know they were listening in, I could just beg to use the internet and chat with a couple friends... AT THE SAME TIME!!
Before the current instant messaging apps were installed on our mobile phones to occupy much of our time, out of all of them, without a doubt, the most successful was Msn Messenger. The program, developed by Microsoft, took place on the desktops of millions of computers during the first decade of this century, enabling trillions of more or less transcendent conversations.
Msn Messenger was born on July 22, 1999, anticipating for only a few months events such as Y2K or the End of the World. Msn Messenger was Microsoft’s response to the dominance in instant messaging that AIM (America-OnLine Instant Messenger) had at that time, launched a couple of years earlier by AOL, one of the pioneers and first dominators in commercial telephony and Internet services.
Back then; Microsoft was clear about the boom of this type of programs, and the need to integrate it into Windows in a natural way. How did they do that? It’s not too difficult if you have ‘on payroll’ the most used operating system and one of the most registered email services in the world, Hotmail.
Thus, integrated in Windows (standard in Windows XP, although it already had optional installation in Windows ME)) and Hotmail (it offered the possibility of using the same username and password in Msn Messenger as the one used in Hotmail) the explosion of the messaging program was instantaneous.
In addition to all these advantages, the development of the different versions of Msn Messenger (which also had other names, such as Windows Messenger or Windows Live Messenger) was very dynamic, which allowed it to have a large number of fans over more than a decade.
Msn Messenger was part of the Internet gateway in many homes around the world. Before long, its classic buzz, emoticons and some very useful features, such as file transfer, became tremendously popular, making it a tool that any PC user would frequently use.
And not only that. For many people, Msn Messenger was the first way to establish communications today as frequent as video calls, which led to its biggest boom in 2009, with no less than 330 million active users worldwide.
But the end was near. The smartphone damaged traditional instant messaging programs through a barrage of new offers, the popular apps, which came to provide thousands of alternatives to Msn Messenger. As you might know, a few months after smartphones became popular, Whaptsapp took over the throne of messaging apps, taking millions of users away from traditional programs.
On the other hand, social networks were made for the leisure time of millions of users, representing another very strong way of competition for Msn Messenger. Spreading like wildfire and having some of them (especially Facebook) internal chat, would promote a new way of communicating that is still very much in force today.
Msn Messenger was not able to survive so many changes and lost users quickly, until Microsoft decided to replace it with Skype, announcing its final closure on October 31, 2014.