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yahoo messenger

A brief background…

Yahoo! Messenger is a popular instant messaging client and protocol provided by Yahoo!. Yahoo! Messenger is provided free of charge and can be downloaded and used with a generic "Yahoo! ID" which also allows access to other Yahoo! services, such as Yahoo! Mail, where users can be automatically notified when they receive new email. Yahoo Instant Messenger also includes a security feature which allows the user to be "invisible" to whoever they choose. This feature is easily bypassed by using Buddy Spy (a free third party application).

In addition to instant messaging features similar to those offered by ICQ and AOL Instant Messenger, it also offers (on the Windows operating system) some unique features such as: IMVironments (customizing the look of instant messaging windows) and Custom Status Messages. Another recently added feature is customized avatars. However, none of these features are available on other platforms.

Yahoo! Messenger is the only messenger in which the experience is not diminished across different platforms as AIM and MSN are. With Yahoo Messenger you get with full webcam and chat support on Mac and PC without any add-ons needed.

Keeping up with versions…

At the time of writing the latest version of Yahoo! Messenger for PC users is version 8.1. Yahoo! Messenger 3.0 Beta 1 is the latest version available for Mac users. Version 2.5.3 had been around for a long time and is still available. Version 3 offers avatars and display images for Mac users and also sounds. It can be downloaded here:

Yahoo! has announced a partnership with Microsoft to join their instant messaging networks. This would make Yahoo! Messenger compatible with Microsoft's .NET Messenger Service. It would also make Microsoft's MSN Messenger compatible with Yahoo!'s Network. Scott Gu reviews the plans on his blog or you can look at the official site:

The graphics are much richer and there’ll be lots of opportunity to create avatars and display images for this platform. I wonder if a new description for the display images will be invented? Currently MSN say display picture, as in ‘msn display picture’ or some might say ‘msn display pic’. Yahoo! refer to them as yahoo avatars and yahoo display images. Mmm….Who knows. We’ll just keep calling them display images. We like to keep it simple.

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