Yahoo Messenger Hits The Web
Ubiquity and interoperability are the key features in the newly launched, web-based Yahoo Messenger client: it runs on multiple web browsers (including Opera, yay!) and can chat with Windows Live Messenger users.
Yahoo users can instant message with their Messenger or Windows Live buddies from any modern, Internet connected computer they can find. No client download needed here, just a valid Yahoo user login to start Yahoo Messenger for the Web.
Jeff Bonforte announced the launch on Yahoo’s official blog. He noted how he made his honeymoon trip to Southeast Asia without bringing along a laptop, since he could use the new messenger service at any Internet cafe.
(We might suggest bringing a laptop along on a honeymoon isn’t the most enlightened choice a newlywed groom could make anyway. Are there a lot of brides out there who feel a romantic rush at the words “Internet cafe?” We’re skeptical here.)
Bonforte said this is the first brand-new messenger in over six years. He’s particularly enamored with message history and the emoticon picker. As a new launch, the service has the familiar ‘beta’ tag attached to it.
Messenger for the Web does IM only. Voice and video are still exclusive to the downloadable version of Yahoo Messenger. It’s a small tradeoff to make for having Yahoo’s chat available everywhere.
Yahoo’s familiar login process brings up the Messenger for the Web screen, with the buddy list displayed. Launching a chat session opens the interface for IM, and multiple sessions will be available under different tabs.
The product fills a gap that AOL, MSN, and even Google had addressed by enabling web-based IM for their users. It’s a nice looking service that works as it is meant to from a wide range of web browsers. Bonforte has promised more announcements about Web Messenger, so perhaps we will see them incorporate voice or video in the future.