For anyone who thinks this is news, I’m sorry to tell you that MSN Messenger as we know it actually closed down last year, but Microsoft kept the instant messenger running in China.
For anyone who thinks this is news, I’m sorry to tell you that MSN Messenger as we know it actually closed down last year, but Microsoft kept the instant messenger running in China. But, as of October 31, all Chinese users will have to switch to Skype, meaning that MSN will definitely, finally, officially cease to exist at the end of next month.
The announcement brings to an end an era of ridiculously long screen names, the beginning of the group chat and those huge winking emoticons that covered your screen and froze your desktop. Although many of us might struggle to recall the days before Facebook Messenger and FaceTime, MSN was the original messaging system for many years.
Too cool for school
MSN started out simply enough, as a basic system to send and receive messages. Before the days of WhatsApp, this was a cost-effective way to communicate with each other. Gradually, with the addition of webcam and audio, MSN became the thing to be signed in to the moment school finished so you could spend hours speaking to all your friends that you’d just spent all day with. Yeah.
While Skype was always considered the business man’s means of web chatting and sending files, the format of MSN made it a teenager’s best and worst nightmare. With the development of screen names, you could tell the world you were listening to Taylor Swift, or that you loved Tom from next door, as well as broadcasting your single/taken/it’s complicated status.
Back in the day, you were nobody unless you could prove you knew how to use a Google font generator – **αℓєχχ-ℓσνιиℓιfє ** (L) TOMMM (L) ** – and emoticons were used as the original way of saying #hungry.
Oh, and if your message font wasn’t hot pink and Comic Sans, you weren’t worth knowing.
Sadly, MSN didn’t get much more sophisticated than that, which might be why we’re now waving goodbye to the programme. In a world of unlimited texts and data, plus numerous means of free communication with complete strangers as well as friends and family, there doesn’t seem to be much need for this instant message service any longer.
Although MSN tried its best to keep people signed in, the sad fact is there are other sites that can do their job just as well, if not better. You can play multi-player Tic Tac Toe on MSN with Tom next door – you can play World of Warcraft with a Russian Tsar online elsewhere. You can send someone a giant, annoying cartoon of a fat man on MSN – you can bombard someone with moving GIFS of Olaf from Frozen on Facebook Messenger.
You can nudge on MSN – you can ping, poke, booty shake and do whatever else you want on all other applications in existence today. There are just too many means of wasting time these days for MSN messenger to survive.
So, farewell MSN, and thanks for 15 years of obsessive communication and enabling so many high school relationships. Because remember, even if he’s making out with another girl at the school disco, you’re the one he’s sending a kissy emoticon to on MSN at midnight.
What are your MSN memories? Let us know in the comments below!
Photo: Arthit Suriyawongkul / Flickr