Yahoo Messenger Calls On Voice Feature

    August 18, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

A few updates to the Sunnyvale company’s messenger client adds support for voice calls and other features.

Yahoo brought its Yahoo Messenger with Voice out of beta earlier this month; however the company still contends it will not be offering a dedicated VoIP service like ones by Skype and Vonage. Doing that would require compliance with the FCC on 911 service, and some VoIP providers have faced lawsuits over that already.

Still, Yahoo fans will like the voice feature, giving them free PC to PC calls to other Yahoo Messenger users. Yahoo claims on its web site that the sound quality will equal what landline service provides.

Yahoo Messenger allows callers to leave a message via voicemail, always a useful feature for users who go offline at times to do things like sleep or work. A Call History display shows all the incoming, outgoing, and missed calls, as well as waiting voicemail messages.

Ringtones can be assigned to various callers, to make them standout from others. With incoming calls, users can accept or decline them, or choose IM Only to switch to that mode instead of voice.

Yahoo also debuted photo sharing, with drag and drop functionality in Messenger; users can share photos over IM very easily. Other files can be shared the same way. Also, when using Yahoo Search from IM during a session, the results can be displayed to both people can see.

Will this be the greatest advance in communications since the beginning of IM? Will Yahoo Messenger users find their call history filled with voicemails from “slhu9eriogtfwAS” and “jvhasdu543xcawe” offering great deals on drugs? Will the RIAA dispatch an unsmiling platoon of lawyers to Sunnyvale when they realize how easy it is to swap songs via the file-transfer function? Stay tuned!

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.