Yahoo! Messenger 9.0 has officially launched as our newest version for Windows XP and Vista. If you’ve been following along and trying our Beta versions, here’s a quick list of what’s new in this final release:
- Pingbox™: Introducing Yahoo! Messenger Pingbox, a new application that once embedded into your blog, website or social network page, lets visitors IM you anonymously (or they can identify themselves) without needing to download or even sign into Yahoo! Messenger. The good news is you’re anonymous too; visitors to your page never see your Yahoo! ID. Pingbox is great for giving your site/page/profile visitors a quick way to chat with you. I’ll do a full post on Pingbox later but in the meantime, go create your own custom Pingbox.
- New skins: Three new skins (Silver, Ruby Red, Mystic Black) bring the total count to twelve.
- Return of the (original) emoticons: Based on a ton of feedback from users, we politely escorted the larger emoticons from the premises and brought back the smaller, original designs.
- Ignore list enhancements: This feature had become a litte buggy, so we fixed it in this release. The “ignore anyone not on my Messenger List” option won’t affect messages when you’re in a chat room, but it continues to apply to IMs.
If you’re brand new to Yahoo! Messenger 9.0, here’s a list of all the other great features it offers:
- Inline video & picture viewer: When a friend sends you a video link from a site like YouTube or a link to an online photo, they will show up right in your IM conversation. For videos, a full player appears; just click the play button to watch it right it in your IM window.
- New emoticons inspired by our users: Last summer we held a contest inviting our users to submit ideas for new emoticons. Six of them made the cut: thumbs up, thumbs down, “It wasn’t me!”, hurry up, rock on!, and “Don’t want to see!!”.
- Import Contacts wizard: Add friends to your Yahoo! Messenger contact list from address books you have on other online services like Gmail, AOL, Hotmail, Orkut…over twenty services in all.
- Yahoo! Updates: Keep up with your friends by checking their updates alongside their names in your contact list. If they Buzz up a story, update their profile on MyBlogLog or change their Avatar, you’ll know about it.
- Call forwarding & new voicemail delivery: Now you can forward incoming calls from Yahoo! Messenger to your mobile or regular phone (Phone Out account required). We’ve reworked voicemail too; new voicemails are delivered as MP3 attachments to the email address you specify.
- Yahoo! Games are back: Just click the “Activities” button in the IM window to choose a game to play with a friend. Toki Toki Boom anyone?
- Changes to the look and feel: In addition to new features, we also reworked the status message menu, making it easier to share custom messages and web links. We also added two views for your contact list – detailed (larger display images, full status with updates) or compact (smaller images, one-line name and status). To change the contact list view, click the menu button to the right of the contact search bar.
Thanks to all the users who participated in the 9.0 Beta program. Your feedback was invaluable in helping us fix bugs and improve the product. But don’t stop now – we still want to hear your feedback! Stop by our feedback form anytime to let us know your thoughts on this final version of Yahoo! Messenger 9.0.