Yahoo Opens IM Client to Developers

Hours after the final release of Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo debuted a beta of its own Yahoo! Messenger 8.0 with Voice client, adding new plug-in functionality that allows for a customized chat experience.

The plug-in architecture of Yahoo Messenger 8 has been opened up, with an API also released to encourage development of new "mini-applications." Initially, several companies have agreed to ship third-party plug ins with the beta, including,, Coupons, Inc., eBay, NewsGater, and 30 Boxes.

Yahoo will also offer plug-ins that would connect to various company services, including Yahoo! Answers, Calendar, Finance, Music, News, Sports, and Yahoo! 360.

"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," commented Brad Garlinghouse, senior vice president of Communications, Community and Front Doors, Yahoo.

Along with promoting Messenger as a development platform like AOL has done with AIM Triton, Yahoo has added a few new features in version 8.0 as well. Users can now have a contact list of up to 1,000 people, add sound effects into voice conversations, and the file transfer limit has increased to one gigabyte.

However, still missing is functionality that would connect Yahoo! Messenger to Windows Live Messenger. Microsoft and Yahoo first announced plans to integrate their messaging networks in October of last year. Microsoft said in early June that it was testing a version of Windows Live Messenger with Yahoo integration.

19 localized versions of Yahoo! Mssenger 8.0 will be released, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Canada en francais, China, France, Hong Kong, Korea, India, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States and Yahoo! en Espanol.

A co-branded AT&T-Yahoo! Messenger client will also be released to those using the company's high-speed internet service in the United States, Yahoo said.

Download Yahoo! Messenger 8.0 Beta from FileForum.

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