We’ve got a reader in search of a new messaging program.

“Yahoo Messenger is being discontinued. Is there another good, free program for instant messaging?”

The folks at Yahoo currently have a replacement in development called Squirrel. They’re conducting beta testing right now. If you’d like to be one of the test participants, you can click here to find out how to request to participate.

In the meantime, you have several free options. I’ll highlight the ones I’m most familiar with.

My go-to messaging app is Facebook Messaging. You can use that either with a browser and your Facebook page or with the separate Messenger app on a tablet, phone,  or Windows 10 PC. With the separate Messenger app, you don’t necessarily need to have a Facebook account.



Facebook offers free text, voice calls, and video chatting. You can attach photos and documents, much like with email. You can also have groups chats, play games, send money, and more.  There’s never any fee to talk to anyone anywhere in the world as long as they are using the messaging app.

Another option is Microsoft’s Skype. You can use it in Outlook.com or click here to download the app to your PC.  If you’re using Windows 10, you’ve already got the app on your PC. Skype lets you have video, audio, or text chats. If you have an Outlook, Hotmail, MSN.com, or Livemail email address, you already have an account.


Gmail offers Google Hangouts. This free service also offers text, video, and voice calling. You can click here to check it out.


Now, I’ll ask your fellow Tech Tips readers to help you out. What’s your favorite messaging app and why? Let us know in the comments.