Instant messaging is free, fast and secure and although it might have been superseded in recent years by Facebook chat and Skype, ‘IM’ chat remains a perpetual presence in our daily lives, be it business or personal.
Yahoo! Messenger (colloquially known as ‘Y!M’) was amongst the first instant messaging clients to make a name for itself and is still used widely to this day. The dedicated instant messenger was first launched in 1998, on the cusp of the internet boom. This was a time when mobile phones were still the size of small bricks and text messaging was in its infancy. Yahoo! Messenger was one of the first of its kind and one of the best. It’s cross pollination with Yahoo! Mail, peerless webcam hosting and chat rooms made it one of the most popular social networking programs of the 21st Century and it continues to be used today by millions of people worldwide.
Yahoo! Messenger has been with us for almost 15 years now and it has spent that time learning and adapting. Yahoo! Messenger can boast a range of powerful and easy-to-use features such as photo sharing, IM conferencing and file transference (with a whopping 2GB limit!). You can also use Y!M to make computer-to-computer voice calls completely free of charge, incredibly important for long distance scenarios. There are also a variety of unique games to be found inside the Y!M infrastructure.
Take in a game of pool, checkers or scrabble whilst you chat and use bespoke Yahoo! Emoticons to express your dissatisfaction at an unfair loss. Of course the world and its dog has migrated onto smartphones over the past few years and Yahoo! Messenger has not been stubborn in moving with the times. The most recent Android, Windows Phone and iOS apps will be able to integrate seamlessly with the existing contacts in your phone so that Y!M becomes the beating heart of your smartphone and thusly your social and business lives.
Because it is an advertisement-supported system, Yahoo! Messenger is completely free to use and advertisements are implemented in the least invasive manner possible. Whilst the services largest competitor ‘MSN’ (the Microsoft Network) was more widely used on a global level throughout the start of the century, Microsoft recently decided to completely refocus the MSN brand as more of an entertainment and news hub, leaving Yahoo! Messenger as perhaps the only mainstream dedicated instant messaging service still in operation. Other IM programs can be used to access Yahoo! Messenger but they are often fraught with stability issues. The ‘Meebo’ program is a case in point. Whilst the program allows access to a variety of networks (including Facebook, Myspace, Google+ and Yahoo) at once it (and many of its similar competitors) is prone to consistent operational problems.
We’re a more connected world now and there are more options than ever before in which to exchange information. Yahoo! Messenger however is still one of the cheapest, least invasive and most convenient programs available. Not only that but it’s familiar, incredibly simple to operate and accessible from a variety of sources. Whilst history might remember MSN as the trailblazer, Yahoo! Messenger will always be remembered as the consistent, fun and functional alternative that helped make the internet chat room into the virtual water cooler of the early 21st Century.
Yahoo! Was one of the very first major multinational internet corporations and was launched back at the cusp of 1994 by David Filo and Jerry Yang. A tongue-in-cheek acronym for 'yet another hierarchical officious office', the yahoo brand built exponentially throughout the nineties and into the 21st Century thanks to its powerful search engine, defining advertising campaign and industry leading email, news, finance and social media services.
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