Hot on the heels of Windows Messenger Live comes Yahoo’s new upgrade to their own Instant Messaging service, offering plug-ins to let users share more information.
Currently residing in beta, Yahoo! Messenger with Voice (version 8), will let users embed collaborative programs into their Messenger experience.
The Yahoo Messenger update will let users run some software packages simultaneously, so groups of chums can all settle down to watch movies together, or get all interactive on each other’s Yahoo Calendar listings while yakking over the messaging system.
Early reports suggest that the service will also allow up to 1GB for file transfers, with the maximum number of contacts available to punters reaching a dazzlingly popular 1,000.
Widgets and Plug Ins
Yahoo is looking to add competition-crushing extras to their new service by getting third party developers to create mini-applications (or ‘widgets’) to let users do groovy things like combine Yahoo Messenger with Yahoo Music, News, Finance, track and share wish lists on Amazon or keep their beady eye on an eBay auction.
With this new ‘plug-in’ approach, Jeff Bonforte, the big cheese in charge of Yahoo’s instant messaging products, reckons that future innovations on Messenger will most likely come from these new widgets rather than complete program upgrades.
Of course, there’s nothing new to all this embedding malarkey, with the industry boys – Microsoft, Google, AOL and Skype – all falling over themselves to make desktop-based applications shareable over IM services, but Yahoo are hoping that by opening up Messenger to become more of a distribution platform they’ll be able to attract punter-luring new services.
Yahoo Messenger is currently number three in the chatty world of Instant Communications, with eBay’s Skype in the second slot and AOL’s AIM still ruling the IM roost.