Yahoo Messenger is shutting down, leaving oil and gas traders, once dependent on Yahoo Messenger, looking for a new means of communication.
The service was still active when the Asian markets opened on Friday, but Yahoo has stated that Friday will mark the swan song of the service. With the Yahoo Messenger’s departure, traders will have to find other ways of communicating, which in some cases could mean a return to lower tech methods—the now almost-antiquated telephone.
Matt Stanley, a fuel oil broker at Freight Investor Services in Dubai commented: “Yahoo was great as an aggregator for all commodity participants so I think any cross-broking from one messenger platform may mean people use the old friend—the phone. So in some kind of ironic way, you may see stronger relationships formed now people have to interact the old school way.”
The free service helped to revolutionize the way oil industry traders communicated with one another. The online version does not meet industry and compliance standards, in this case the archiving of conversations.
One trader in Singapore, a 20-year market veteran, lamented: “You have no idea how much I’ll miss Yahoo Messenger. I built up hundreds of contacts on it over more than a decade. I have Yahoo friends I have never met, but with whom I spent many hours bantering and joking. It also made me a lot of money. Now that it’s gone, I could cry.”
There are other messenger services available, and traders and those who cover the industry for news services are now on the hunt for an equivalent service. Some potential candidates are Eikon Messenger, ICE Instant Messaging, Symphony, Bloomberg Messenger, Twitter, and WhatsApp.
Eikon has worked well for power, natural gas, oil and iron, and the oil industry backs ICE, while banks seem to favor Symphony. An Asian fuel trader noted that it would be “a bit of a pain” for traders to use multiple platforms for communications.
Lincoln Brown for Oilprice.com
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