10 things we remember about MSN Messenger
IT’S the end of an era. Microsoft’s MSN Messenger is finally being switched off after 15 years.
The chat application will strike nostalgic chords with our teen selves as we spent hours typing away in text boxes chatting to mates after school and on weekends honing our speed typing as we flirted away (come on, you know you did) with people we met online.
Launched in 1999 it was the way to socialise before Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. With user numbers in the hundreds of millions by the mid-2000s many stopped using MSN after Microsoft bought Skype in 2012 and was phased out. Plus, as mobile texting came to prominence we found new ways to communicate.
However (now called Windows Live Messenger) it carried on in China until now when it will finally be put to bed as of October 31 with users no longer being able to use it. They will receive a $2 credit towards Skype for switching over.
Before we say farewell to a beloved part of our internet history here’s ten things we’ll fondly remember:
For many of us, our first exposure into the world of text speak came by way of this online introduction. Age, Sex, Location was the easy way to find out about others and whether we were onto a winner or talking to a middle-aged bloke. Of course, the majority of us completely lied and in those days before we could check on Facebook we could totally pretend to be older and much cooler than we really were.
Way before emojis MSN was using smileys we could insert into our chats. There was a whole catalogue we could choose from and those cheeky yellow icons would add more colour to our convos. There was no better feeling than being sent that heart emoticon or getting a relieving winking face response from that cheesy chat-up line.Nudge
Being ignored? Want to get the attention of that person you’re keen on? We could send a nudge that would vibrate their chat window. It was annoying. That was why it was great.
We might associate a status with Facebook but MSN was one of the first to let us advertise how we were feeling under our user name. Often these were cringe song lyrics in an attempt to make us sound ‘deep’ and profound.
‘Be right back’. Oh how we waited. Like loyal Labradors awaiting the return of its owner we were.
Ever since we stopped using MSN our use of the asterisk has definitely declined. This little symbol could be seen littered all over chats as the haste of our typing left horrible spelling mistakes. It was also a polite way of delivering a few swear words.
Tying up the phone line
Back in the day, when we had to use the internet through our landline telephone line it essentially meant the household couldn’t receive calls and no one could use the phone (yes kids, you have no idea how lucky you are). Being a time when mobile phones were nowhere near as omnipresent as today we had to use MSN to chat to our mates and we could be on it for hours. Cue the screaming arguments between siblings for screen time and the bellow from parents when they found out we we’ve been racking up the phone bill.
In order to not suffer the wrath of angry parents we had to master the art of silently tapping away on clunky keyboards till the early hours without waking them as we continued to chat to mates till late at night. The next skill was tactfully ending a conversation with someone who just wouldn’t let up.
Getting on MSN was an after school staple. While we should have been brushing up on our homework were becoming masters of multi-tasking as we spun multiple windows of chats weaving between several different conversations. We’re sure it aided in the development of our modern day multi-tasking. At least that’s what we like to think.
Sorry, wrong person!
But there were times when we’d inevitably stuff up with all those chats by sending a message to the completely wrong person. Aghh! The prickly heat of embarrassment. Not only did they now know you were chatting to someone else at the same time but god forbid you sent them the message slagging them off. However, sometimes it was a sly trick to ‘accidentally’ let that person find out you fancied them.