Yahoo Unveils Updated Messaging Application in Crowded Market

Yahoo! Inc. doesn’t think the battle for messaging apps is over.

The company is rolling out a revamped version of its Messenger app for smartphones and e-mail and a new version for the Web, according to Jeff Bonforte, senior vice president of communication products at Yahoo. The updates aim to help users easily create groups, share multiple photos and use GIF graphics through a partnership with the Tumblr property.

Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer, struggling to drive a turnaround at the Web portal, is pushing ahead with innovations to attract more users. The latest comes as the board meets to discuss a range of options about Yahoo’s future, including a potential sale of its Web assets, according to a person familiar with that matter.

The new application enters a crowded field that’s led by the likes of Snapchat and Facebook Inc.’s Messenger and WhatsApp, all ranked among the top 25 free apps in the U.S. for Apple Inc.’s devices, according to AppAnnie.

The latest iteration of Yahoo Messenger aims for a clean design and simple features that attempt to make it easier to share items. It’s also using new technology, such as a feature to save storage space on a mobile device and another for retracting messages.

“There’s plenty of disruption coming in messaging still,” Bonforte said. “This is the right product for Yahoo to deliver.”

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