Nokia and Yahoo! have collaborated to replace the chat feature offered by Ovi Contacts with an instant messaging app called Nokia Chat.
The old chat feature within Ovi Contacts will be discontinued beginning August 1, 2011, Nokia has informed its users.
Ovi Contacts is part of the PC suite which allows users of Nokia handsets to sync their contacts between their mobiles and a PC, organise them and add photos, birthdays and other information. The Contacts feature allowed users to search for contacts and discover friends within the Ovi community, chat, share their locations and presence.
An email update sent by Nokia to Ovi users reads: "Dear You are receiving this email because you have used instant messaging (IM) from the Contacts application on your Nokia phone. Your Contacts instant messaging account can now be used to access the new Ovi Chat powered by Yahoo! service. Nokia and Yahoo! have partnered to provide you with this enhanced IM service, which lets you chat with your Ovi and Yahoo! Messenger friends, providing you with an even larger community for chatting. You can access this service by switching to the Chat application from Nokia by following the instructions provided at http://nokia.mobi/chatupdate .
As a result of this enhancement, the IM feature of the Contacts application will be discontinued on August 1, 2011. To continue sending and receiving instant messages from your Ovi friends after this date, you must begin using the Chat application. Open the following link to get detailed instructions on getting started with Chat â€“ http://nokia.mobi/chatupdate.
We hope you take these simple steps to continue using the service. It's part of our goal to deliver a consistent IM experience and more quickly realize the benefits of our partnership with Yahoo!. Not only are enhancements to your mail and chat experience coming via this global partnership, we are also hard at work on better, more innovative Ovi experiences that help you make the most of your Nokia phone. Stay tuned.
Please note that address book synchronization from the Contacts application and the website are not affected by this notice. You can continue using both without taking additional action.
Sincerely, Ovi by Nokia"
The new service promises to be "enhanced" but there are no details. Nokia Chat will connect users with their Yahoo! Messenger contacts.
Nokia began the process of retiring the Ovi brand in July and has announced its mapping app is now Nokia Maps. The company's storefront for apps also continues to gain traction. Today, global media reports indicate the Ovi Store has 50,000 mobile apps available and is witnessing 6.55 million downloads on a daily basis.