Yahoo Upgrades Instant Messenger Service

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Following on the heels of Microsoft’s new Internet messaging service launched on Monday, Yahoo has announced its own enhanced online instant messenger. According to AFP, Yahoo Messenger with Voice can be personalized with plug-ins that enable users to easily perform various web tasks. One such plug-in, dubbed Event Finder, allows those using the service to share maps to collaborate on travel, while another lets users compare appointment calendars, all in real time. As of yesterday, there were 100 plug-ins available worldwide, and options vary by location.

“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,” said Brad Garlinghouse, Senior VP of Communications, Community and Front Doors at Yahoo. “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.”

The Yahoo service also features other enhancements like the ability to pipe music or sound effects into IM telephony on the Internet. The size limit on file transfers has been increased to a gigabyte to handle larger documents and photos sent via IM.

Yahoo officials have stated that the launch coinciding with Microsoft’s service is purely happenstance, despite the competition between the two companies along with Google for user loyalty–which translates into revenue via advertising dollars. For its new messenger, Yahoo has collaborated closely with Amazon and eBay in creating their various plug-ins.

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