June 29, 2009 on 1:24 pm | In 9.0 version | 32 Comments
Some things are just more fun with a group of friends. And using Yahoo! Messenger is one of them. While not new to Yahoo! Messenger, I thought I’d take a moment to highlight the group features that are available in Yahoo! Messenger 9.0.
If you’re like me, you have a variety of people in your contact list – some are from work, some are friends, others are family. As a result, I have several groups in my contact list. While the groups make it easier for me to find someone in my list, it also enables me to use some handy features for quickly communicating with each group.
When you right-click on a group name in your contact list, you’ll see a few options. The first is “Broadcast an IM”. When you select this feature, a new IM window pops up and provides a place for you to type your message. When you click Send, that IM gets sent to everyone in that group. No need to open multiple windows to contact each one of them, we’ll do it for you. When someone responds, it will come back to you as a new IM conversation between you and that friend.
The menu also offers “Start a conference”. This is one of the more fun features in Yahoo! Messenger and it enables you to start a private chat room with your friends. Your friends will receive an invite, asking them to join you in a conference. Conferences are a great way to plan group events, discuss current events, or just kill time.
Even if you haven’t created groups in your contact list, you can still easily start a conference with a group of friends without having to IM each one separately. Just select multiple contacts from your list using the keyboard/mouse combo SHIFT + click or CTRL + click. Then right-click on one of the selected contacts, go to “More Actions” and select “Start a conference”.
And if there are certain groups you’d prefer not to be available to (like your work friends when you’re signed on over the weekend at home), you can also change stealth settings by group. Just right click on a group name in your list and select “Stealth Settings”. Then choose “Appear permanently offline to selected contacts”.
We use the word permanent in that description because your stealth setting for that group will persist if you sign out and sign back in again. To go back to appearing online to that group of contacts, right-click again and choose Stealth Settings > “Appear online to selected contacts”.
June 23, 2009 on 9:49 am | In Voice | 88 Comments
Last year, we partnered with Jajah to power our paid voice services. Recently, they hit a major milestone that we want to congratulate them on – 1 billion calls connected.
Even more exciting for us is that the customer who placed the billionth call did it while using Yahoo! Messenger.
The historic billionth call on the JAJAH platform was made by Ila Zeff, a 29 year old resident of San Francisco, CA. Mrs Zeff made the call on Yahoo! Messenger using her Phone Out account. She was calling her mother in India, whom she calls at least weekly since moving to the United States from India.
Mrs Zeff said. “I use Yahoo! Voice to call my mother at least once a week. She still can’t believe I’m calling her from America and often says it sounds like I’m just up the road. I haven’t even told her I’m calling from my computer – she wouldn’t believe me.”
Congratulations to Jajah and special thanks to Mrs. Zeff for using Yahoo! Messenger to make her calls. We promise not to tell your mom.
June 19, 2009 on 2:54 pm | In 9.0 version | 59 Comments
Since we have a lot of users upgrading to Yahoo! Messenger 9.0 right now, I’ve seen some comments/complaints about the extra programs and settings that are bundled with the Yahoo! Messenger 9.0 installer. I thought I’d take a moment to explain what they are and how you can customize your own installation.
In addition to the Messenger client, there are a few other items that you can add at the same time while installing Yahoo! Messenger 9.0: Yahoo! Toolbar, setwww.yahoo.com as your browser’s home page, and set Yahoo! as your default search provider (in the search box that’s built into your browser window).
On the first screen of the installer, the additional items are listed. You’ll also notice two items at the top – typical install and custom install. Click on the custom install link and it will show you a more detailed set of options for your install including desktop and quick launch shortcuts, Yahoo! Toolbar, and the homepage and search settings mentioned earlier (pictured below). Note that if you already have some of these things installed or set (e.g. you already have Yahoo! as your homepage), they won’t appear in the list of options.
If you want all of these items installed along with Yahoo! Messenger, just click the Next button at the bottom. Or uncheck the boxes for the items you don’t want. None of them are required for the installation of Yahoo! Messenger, they are simply extras that we offer to our Yahoo! users.
These same options are offered during the automatic upgrade process that happens when we offer you a new version at sign-in (which many of you are now seeing for Yahoo! Messenger 9.0). These same customization options are available in that installation wizard as well.
June 17, 2009 on 10:53 am | In iphone | 66 Comments
Today Apple’s new 3.0 operating system comes out for the iPhone. One of the exciting new features this will bring to the iPhone is push notifications, or the ability for an app to alert you of something even if you’re not running it (similar to how the Mail app on the iPhone alerts you now to new messages).
For Yahoo! Messenger for iPhone, this means you’ll get notified when a new IM message arrives, even if you aren’t actually running the app. Our new version with push notifications is not ready yet, but we wanted to let you know that we are working on it and hope to have it out soon.
We’ll let you know here on the blog when it’s ready.
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June 11, 2009 on 6:19 am | In Avatars | 39 Comments
This week, Comedy Central’s Colbert Report is broadcasting from Baghdad’s Camp Victory in support of U.S. troops serving in Iraq. The top-rated comedy show has teamed up with DonorsChoose.org for their “Support Our Troops” campaign, designed to raise money for public schools and support the children who make great sacrifices of their own while their parents serve our country.
The fundraising drives features a friendly competition among the Armed Forces –- Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy and Coast Guard — to see which branch’s supporters can have the biggest impact on classrooms. As of June 9th, they have raised more than $130,000, and the Army is barely hanging on to the lead (check out the leaderboard as the tension builds in real-time).
To help raise awareness for this effort, Yahoo! Avatars teamed up with Colbert to make some custom Stephen Colbert Avatars and accessories. So go put on your Colbert Avatar gear to show your support for the “Support Our Troops” campaign. You can also donate to the campaign to help fund the classroom projects.
Oh and don’t be fooled by Colbert’s full head of hair in his Avatar pics. In a recent show of solidarity, Stephen Colbert, on President Obama’s order, had his head shaved by show guest General Ray Odierno. Watch the video to see the clippers in action (go to the 4:00 mark for the good stuff):