Mobile Applications

Yahoo Jumps In Messaging Game With Squirrel App

Yahoo is testing a new app focused on group messaging.

The new app, called Squirrel, was first spotted by Android Police on the Google Play store. The app is currently in invite-only mode, and those interested are encouraged to get a friend with access to send them an invite or request an access code.

“Organize groups and chats the way you want, so you can keep up without getting lost in the noise,” reads the description.

Some of the other features include the ability to create separate rooms for specific people or topics, or you can simply chat in the main room for group-wide announcements and banter; secret rooms for private chats; blasts so you can make sure everyone in your group sees important messages; and an activity view that enables you to never miss an important message, as well as know when you are mentioned.

Android Police points out that “Squirrel looks like a more consumer-friendly version of popular workplace chat app Slack.” Once launched, it will compete with apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, each of which has over a billion users and also allows group messaging.

Yahoo also mentions privacy benefits in the app listing, which is something users might be concerned about, given the company’s history of data breaches. Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that Altaba, the entity formerly known as Yahoo, has agreed to pay a $35 million penalty to settle charges related to the massive data breach at Yahoo that exposed the personal data of hundreds of millions of users.

The SEC found that Yahoo filed several quarterly and annual reports after learning about the data breach but didn’t disclose it. The company also didn’t share information about the hack with auditors and outside counsel and failed to maintain disclosure controls and procedures designed to ensure that reports from Yahoo’s security team were properly assessed in a timely manner for potential disclosure.

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