Traders seek replacement for Yahoo
Yahoo said it will disable its current instant messaging system as of 5 August but will still support a newer, web-based version. The new version does not allow for auditing software to log conversations for compliance purposes and allows users to "unsend" a message, adding to compliance concerns.
Along with AOL's free instant messaging service, the existing version of Yahoo Messenger has been the default communication platform to bid, offer and trade physical crude oil, refined products and other commodities around the world since the late 1990s. The free platform also let brokers and the media contact traders to gather important market data.
While the change is unlikely to disrupt markets, it is not clear where some commodity traders will turn for messaging services. The choice matters since users could end up in a "communication silo," unable to talk with certain counterparties since not all of the chat services are compatible.
Many companies appear to be heading for a handful of platforms, including one created by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), known as ICE Chat, and Reuters' offering, called Eikon Messaging, said Tom Lord, president of consulting firm Dynamic Commodity Management.
ICE previously charged for the chat service but said last week it will now be free. An informal poll of dozens of companies involved in crude and products trading in North America indicates many either have or will adopt ICE Chat, including Phillips66, BP, Valero and Cargill.
The Reuters platform is also free but is seen as a way for the company to try to sell other services and products to users, said Lord.
Bloomberg also offers a chat feature free to subscribers of its data terminals. Other companies are weighing options such as AOL instant messenger, Skype, Trillian and Slack.