December 31, 2007 on 12:00 pm | In News | 30 Comments
It’s that time of year where we’re inundated with “year in review” stories. So I thought I’d follow suit here on the blog and take a look back at 2007, the busiest year on record for Yahoo! Messenger.
New & improved
2007 was a year of “new & improved” for Messenger. Our classic Yahoo! Messenger for Windows version reached its pre-adolescent age of 9.0, complete with a facelift and slick video sharing features. Even our Mac OSX users felt the love this year with a couple of updates to Yahoo! Messenger for Mac 3.0 (hello chat rooms!). And let’s not forget the Yahoo! Messenger for Vista preview which after a year-long wait, was a welcome arrival.
Where can’t I IM from?
Thanks to the introduction of Yahoo! Messenger for the Web, now we have users all over the world signing in to IM from all kinds of different places. Whether you’re on the road, borrowing a friend’s PC, using My Yahoo! Beta, or even flying high on JetBlue, you can now IM and SMS your friends from any computer, no download required. Luke, Leia and Darth Vader even got in on the action with the Star Wars edition of Yahoo! Messenger for the Web.
Even if you’re away from a PC, IM is still within reach. A new version of Yahoo! Messenger for Mobile was released and Blackberry users can now enjoy what is easily the best mobile experience for Yahoo! Messenger.
“We love emoticons, they love emoticons, we need more emoticons” is like a playground chant around the Yahoo! Messenger office. 2007 was a great year for the little smiling guys. The emoticon turned 25 this year so it was appropriate that his anniversary resulted in the most emoting we’ve seen in a long while!
Thanks to our users and their creative ideas, we added some new ones in Yahoo! Messenger 9.0. We also saw advances in the way emoticons are presented in Yahoo! Messenger. Our web products infused flash to give our emoticons a little more sizzle with their delivery, and in the Star Wars version, we even have galactic battles taking place between emoticons! Yahoo! Messenger for Vista followed suit, offering a new emoticon menu that is truly interactive.
And what would emoticons be without a little fanaticism? These users know how to make the most of our little guys.
I could go on and on about the busy year we had, but thankfully we have the blog complete with search box to archive all of our 2007 happenings.
Happy New Year to all of our readers! We hope you’ve enjoyed some of the new products, features and fun we’ve brought to you in 2007. We hope you have a great 2008 that’s filled with lots of friends, laughter and good times – all over IM of course.
Sarah Bacon & The Yahoo! Messenger team
December 21, 2007 on 11:31 am | In Features | 14 Comments
Heading to the movies over the holidays? Then be sure to try out the new Yahoo! Movies trailer plug-in for Yahoo! Messenger (8.1 or 9.0 Beta). It’s been redesigned with some new features that make it the perfect tool for finding the next cinematic masterpiece.
Once you’ve added it to your Yahoo! Messenger, the Movie Trailers plug-in sits right down in the bottom of your Messenger window. You can use it to watch trailers from the latest films and with just a click, head over to Yahoo! Movies to find out when the movie is playing near you.
This new version has larger movie posters that you can browse through; just click a poster to watch the high quality trailer in an adjoining window. You can also read a brief synopsis of each film, right in the plug-in window.
Best of all, the performance of this updated plug-in is much better. If you’re on a broadband connection, trailers load instantly in widescreen view with little to no buffering.
To add the Movie Trailer plug-in to your Yahoo! Messenger, visit the gallery page and click “Install Now”. Or click here to install it right now (you must be running Yahoo! Messenger 8.1 or 9.0).
And coming soon to a Yahoo! Messenger window near you… The Yahoo! Movies team is also working on a new version of the Movie Trailer conversation plug-in, which lets you and a friend browse and watch trailers together in the IM window while you chat.
Don’t forget the popcorn!
December 17, 2007 on 5:04 pm | In Features, Fun Stuff | 234 Comments
It’s that time of year again and hopefully you’ll be spending time with your friends and family in person. But in case you can’t make it to the festivities, we’ve loaded up Yahoo! Messenger with a few items to help you spread holiday cheer to all your friends.
With the “Holiday” category of audibles you can send funny greetings from the gingerbread man, mushy mistletoe and even a rapidly disappearing snowflake. The “12 Days of Christmas” audibles put a humorous twist on the popular English Christmas song.
Audibles are available in Yahoo! Messenger 8.1 or 9.0 Beta (for Windows). When you’re in an IM conversation, click the Audibles icon ( ) to access the menu. Then click the “More Audibles” button and look for “Holiday” or “12 Days” under the Winter Holidays category.
And don’t forget the ever-popular Snowflakes IMV! When you have the IMV running, hit the Buzz button to send your friend a snowy greeting. To load the Snowflakes IMV, click the IMVironment button during your conversation (it’s under “Animals and Nature”), or click here to try it now (you must be running Yahoo! Messenger 8.1 or 9.0).
P.S. – If someone ever sends you an audible you want to check out yourself, just click on it in the message and select “Find Similar Audibles”. This will bring up the menu for that audible category.
December 13, 2007 on 10:29 am | In Fun Stuff, Web version | 30 Comments
Last week, we launched a special Star Wars edition of Yahoo! Messenger for the Web, complete with a Star Wars theme, sounds and new emoticons.
This version of Yahoo! Messenger includes thirty customized emoticons of your favorite Star Wars characters like Yoda, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Han Solo and many more (plus a couple of hidden emoticons).
This version also breaks ground with a new breed of emoticons – super combo emoticons. When you enter two Star Wars emoticons next to each other in a message, there’s a “galactic” interaction between them. Try typing “(vader)(obiwan)” in a message to try it out. You’ll have to figure out the other nine combos on your own.
All the favorite features of Yahoo! Messenger for the Web are included in this version. No download is required – just sign in at http://starwars.webmessenger.yahoo.com (http://starwars.web.im works too). Then start sending instant messages or text messages (SMS) to your friends. Don’t forget to throw in a Jabba the Hut emoticon every now and then.
And while you’re at it, head over to the Star Wars gallery on Yahoo! Avatars to dress up in your favorite gear from a galaxy far, far away.
NOTE: Star Wars edition of Yahoo! Messenger for the Web was discontinued in December, 2009.
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December 11, 2007 on 8:01 am | In News, Web version | 178 Comments
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…Yahoo! Messenger from 30,000 feet! Today marks the official launch of a customized version of Yahoo! Messenger for JetBlue passengers.
Internet access on commercial flights is a new concept, and JetBlue is the first domestic carrier to test it with their new BetaBlue airplane. Passengers with WiFi-enabled laptops or Blackberry devices on the plane can connect for free to the on-board wireless network. Once connected, they can communicate with friends, family and colleagues on the ground using customized versions of both Yahoo! Messenger for the Web and Yahoo! Mail. Read more about our partnership with JetBlue.
After signing into Yahoo! Messenger you can see which of your Yahoo! or Windows Live Messenger friends are online and send them instant messages. Even if a friend isn’t online, you can use the built in SMS feature to send a text message right to their mobile phone. If they reply back, you get it right in Yahoo! Messenger. The SMS feature is really handy if you need to send news about your flight to a friend or family member (or just gripe about that kid kicking your seat).
We also added a few special status messages that let your friends know you’re flying high with JetBlue. “Head in the clouds – seriously”, “Sleeping on the Plane” and “Ugh! Crying baby on flight” are just a few. Or choose “Custom Message…” and get creative.
So what’s in it for your earth-bound friends while you’re cruising at 30,000 feet? When your status is set to one of the flight-specific messages, your friends will see your airborne status and be able to click on it, taking them to a page where they can view your flight location and status in real-time.
JetBlue’s BetaBlue plane is the first to offer these free services to its passengers. While you can’t specifically request the BetaBlue plane for your next JetBlue journey, be sure to keep your laptop handy the next you fly with them. You might just get a chance to try out Yahoo! Messenger from 30,000 feet in the air.
Director of Product, Yahoo! Messenger
Here are some photos of the launch event at SFO (courtesy of Jeremy Johnstone):
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