On Friday, Yahoo! released the final beta version of its instant messaging service. In this latest version Yahoo! has incorporated new plug-in functionality that enables a personalized chat experience. Apparently over 180 plug-ins have been developed for the client by developers.
Yahoo! Messenger 8.0 with Voice also brings compatibility with Microsoft’s Windows Live Messenger. Through a limited beta program, users from one service can communicate with individuals on the other. Yahoo says the interoperability deal has produced the world’s largest IM community comprised of 350 million accounts.
Brad Garlinghouse, Senior Vice President of Communications, Community and Front Doors, Yahoo! Inc. explained, ”The new plug-ins for Yahoo! Messenger with Voice empower people to create the communications experience they want, by giving them a way to customize their IM service with their favorite web features and services. We are inviting developers to use Yahoo! Messenger with Voice’s plug-in technology in new and creative ways and believe that our tens of millions of users worldwide will benefit from industry-wide innovation as a result.”
New features include:
Increased Friends List: To keep up with the growing community of friends and family using Yahoo! Messenger with Voice, people now have the ability to add up to 1000 contacts on their friends’ list.
Sound Effects: The Soundboard feature allows people to add short sound effects into their voice conversations, including ‘audience booing’ and ‘birds chirping’ sound effects. Additionally, with the Soundtrack feature, people can drag and drop MP3 music files stored on the PC and play as background music.
Increased File Transfer Limit: To meet the increasing need to easily transfer documents and photo images through IM, the file transfer size has increased ten times to 1 gigabyte.
Apart from promoting Messenger as a development platform like AOL has done with AIM Triton, Yahoo has included a few new features in version 8.0 as well. Users can now have a contact list of up to 1,000 people, add sound effects into voice conversations, and the file transfer limit has increased to one gigabyte.
Free avatars have additionally been added in the final release of Yahoo! Messenger 8.0. Users can interact with their avatars, change the avatar’s mood, and customize the background with images from Yahoo! Search.
The beta version of Yahoo! Messenger with Voice is launching simultaneously in 19 localized versions around the world including: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Canada en francais, China, France, Hong Kong, Korea, India, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States and Yahoo! en Espanol. In the U.S., Yahoo! users in AT and T’s traditional 13-state local service area will receive an AT and T Yahoo! branded version of the new beta of Yahoo! Messenger with Voice.
To download Yahoo! Messenger 8.0 with Voice, please visit messenger.yahoo.com.