February 27, 2007 on 9:34 am | In Voice | 47 Comments
Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors, is an annual spring celebration that takes place in India.
In honor of this popular festival, Yahoo! Messenger calling rates to India during the week of Holi will be reduced to 4.9¢ a minute. And during the two days of the Holi festival, calls to India are free (Phone Out subscription required). Check out the promotion page for complete details.
IM the Holi promotion to a friend
From the looks of some Holi pictures I found on Flickr, this festival is anything but boring. Revelers delight in throwing water and colored powders at each other which gets messy, but fun! To learn about all things Holi, head over to holifestival.org.
Want to add a little bit of Holi color to your IM conversations? Click on one of the images below to make it your display image (you need to be signed into Messenger):
And the best news? Even after Holi ends, you can still save with our new lower rate of just 7.9¢ a minute on calls to India (starts March 7 at 9pm PST).
February 23, 2007 on 10:57 am | In Features | 196 Comments
As you may have seen in the preview of Yahoo! Messenger for Windows Vista, tabbed IM windows are coming soon. This feature lets you group multiple conversations into one IM window and use tabs to navigate among them.
As it turns out, there are several hidden features that are built into Yahoo! Messenger, which can be turned on with changes to the Windows registry settings. One of our Messenger engineers, Hung Nguyen, developed some code that when installed, adds tabs to Yahoo! Messenger 8.1 (on Windows XP).
To try it out, first close all the IM windows you have open. Then click the “Turn ON tabs in Yahoo! Messenger” link below. When the download window appears, click the “Run” button and follow the on-screen instructions to install it. The next time you’re in two or more IM conversations at the same time, you’ll see the tabs in action. To close a tab, just right click on it.
Turn ON tabs in Yahoo! Messenger 8.1
Turn OFF tabs in Yahoo! Messenger 8.1
Keep in mind this is a hack for Yahoo! Messenger that has not been exhaustively tested. There are some challenges with it so if you want to remove it, click the “Turn OFF tabs in Yahoo! Messenger” link above to download and run the .reg file (Yahoo! Messenger does not need to be running to remove it). I did experience some display issues with my IM windows initially, but a click and drag of the bottom right corner of my IM window corrected it.
Thanks to Hung for creating this and to our friends at WackyB for first making this available for download. More on WackyB in a future post…
UPDATE: Andy at WackyB created a utility that corrects some of the bugs with this hack. When you use Andy’s utility, new tabs display correctly, you get notified when a new message is received from a background tab, and most importantly you will receive new IM messages when you have closed the Tabbed IM window. Thanks Andy! Get the WackyB utility here
February 20, 2007 on 12:40 pm | In Features | 17 Comments
The countdown to the live broadcast of the Academy Awards has officially begun. The red carpet, glamorous stars, happy winners and heartbroken losers…sounds like a movie all in itself. In honor of the upcoming movie fun, here are some fun ways that Yahoo! Messenger can bring the silver screen right to your desktop.
One of my favorites is the Movie Trailer conversation plug-in, which lets you and a friend watch the latest movie trailers together in the IM window. I’ve used this a few times with a friend to decide what movie we wanted to see. It also has a showtimes and tickets link, so when you do decide, it’s just a quick click off to Yahoo! Movies to find out where it’s playing.
If you prefer to watch trailers on your own, there’s also the Movie Trailer tab plug-in which sits right at the bottom of your Messenger window. Scan the selection of movie posters to find a trailer to watch, then sit back and grab some popcorn. There’s even a full-screen mode.
With all the great video services out there, including Yahoo! Video, you’re sure to find favorite video clips that you want to share with a friend. The new Video Sharing plug-in makes it really easy to share and watch clips right in the IM window from YouTube, Yahoo! Video or Google Video. Just launch the plug-in and send your friend a link to a video from one of those three sites. The video will load right in the IM window so you can watch it together.
Gotta go! I still have a couple of movies left that I want to see before the show on Sunday night.
February 16, 2007 on 12:30 pm | In Features | 40 Comments
Some of you have mentioned it here on the blog and many more have written into customer care about it. You miss the old Messenger sounds and want them back. Ok, we heard you!
Now you can download and restore the old sounds like the creaking door, doorbell, classic chime and more. Once you’ve downloaded and put them in your Messenger sounds folder, you can go into Preferences and assign the sounds you want for different functions.
Click here for complete instructions
We also added an “Old Messenger sounds” link in the Downloads section here on the blog.
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February 14, 2007 on 9:54 am | In Web version | 329 Comments
There have been shared features between Yahoo! Mail and Messenger for awhile, like the ability to see who’s online from your Mail address book or getting alerts in Messenger when a new Mail message arrives. But hold your horses, there’s a new integration in town – Messenger is now built right into Yahoo! Mail Beta.
As a Messenger user, this integration may not be too earth-shattering since you’re used to having Messenger open on your desktop. But for millions of Yahoo! Mail users that have never used instant messaging, this new integration makes it really easy to get started.
When you sign into Yahoo! Mail Beta, you’ll see a new menu next to your Yahoo! ID that lets you choose your online availability. When you select “Available”, you’ll appear online to your friends and be able to send and receive IM’s right in Mail.
One of the coolest features is the ability to transform an email into an IM. Let’s say I am writing my friend Terri an email about dinner plans for tonight. As I’m writing, Terri happens to come online. A yellow alert bar then appears in my Mail window that says “Terri is now online and available to chat. Chat Now”. With one click, I transform my half-composed email into an IM and voila, Terri and I are instant messaging (screenshot).
You can also send offline IM’s that your friend will see the next time he or she logs into Mail (or Messenger). To get a full tour of this new marriage between Mail and Messenger, check out the video tour below created by Yahoo! Mail Beta evangelist, Ryan Kennedy (hi-res version available here).
A few other things to keep in mind… If you’re already using Messenger, setting your status to “Available” in Mail will sign you out of Messenger since you can only be online in one or the other. This new lightweight version of Messenger in Mail is just that – light on features. It’s meant to offer the basic benefits of online availability and instant messaging. For the more robust features like webcam, instant file transfer, voice, LAUNCHcast etc., stick with the full version of Yahoo! Messenger. But if you’re on a computer where you can’t install Messenger but still want to IM, this new web-based Messenger in Mail is a handy alternative.
If you have friends or family that have been reluctant to join you on IM or aren’t sure how, this new integration with Mail makes it incredibly easy. The feature begins rolling out this week and will gradually become available to all Yahoo! Mail Beta users over the next 3 months. So if you don’t see it in your Mail account right way, please be patient!
Kudos to the Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Messenger teams for bringing this integration to life. We hope you enjoy it!