This is one of those features that I tell people is in Yahoo! Messenger and they inevitably say, “Really?”. Yes, really! Rather than using your mobile phone to send SMS text messages, you can send them for free from Yahoo! Messenger.
When you send an SMS message from Yahoo! Messenger, replies from your friends come back to you in Messenger, making it a quick and convenient way to chat with your friends when they’re not online. This feature is available in all of our versions – 9.0 for Windows, Messenger for Mac, Yahoo! Messenger for the Web, iPhone and even in the chat features in Yahoo! Mail.
If you’re using Yahoo! Messenger 9.0, it’s as easy as right-clicking on a contact and choosing “Send SMS message…”. If you don’t have a mobile number stored for that contact, you’ll be asked to enter it. You can also send SMS messages to people who aren’t in your contact list or address book. Go to the Actions menu and select “Send an SMS message…” (or hit Ctrl + T on your keyboard). A menu pops up asking you to select the contact you want to SMS. At that point click the “Other contact” tab and type in the mobile number.
In Yahoo! Messenger for the Mac, select a contact in your list, then go to the “Contacts” menu and select “Send SMS…”. You can also right click on a contact to get started. You’ll also notice a “Voice and SMS” button in the IM window. You can click on that to send an SMS. Or to send to a mobile number that’s not in your contact list, go to the File menu and select “New SMS…” (or hit Shift + Command + N on your keyboard).
In Yahoo! Messenger for the Web, you’ll notice an additional group in your contact list named “Mobile Contacts”. This will list all the friends in your address book that have a mobile number. Just click one to get started. If you want to send to mobile number that’s not in your list, just type it into the “Find Contacts” bar near the top and hit Enter on yout keyboard. This will start a new IM window where you can type in and send your SMS message.
When you’re on your iPhone, launch the Yahoo! Messenger for iPhone app and start a conversation with a friend. Then tap the “IM” icon to the left of the text box to change it to “SMS”. Type your message and send. You can also tap the “New Message” icon in the app and in the To: field, type in a mobile phone number to get started. Watch the SMS portion of the iPhone demo video
And finally, you can also send SMS messages from Yahoo! Mail. When you’re signed into the new Yahoo! Mail, click a friend in your “Contacts” list on the left side. This will open a new chat window. In the upper right of that window you’ll notice a series of three icons – one for Mail, one for chat and one for mobile. Click on the mobile icon to convert your chat to an SMS text message instead.
In Yahoo! Mail Classic, you’ll notice a second group in the chat module on the left hand side named “Mobile Contacts”. Open that group to select a contact. Or, click the “New text” link at the bottom of the module to send an SMS message to a mobile number that’s not in your list.
It’s free to send SMS messages from Yahoo! Messenger but note that the friends who receive your messages may be subject to fees depending on their carrier and data plan. SMS message sending is supported by Yahoo! Messenger in the following countries and carriers:
United States: AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile
Canada: Rogers, Fido
India: Vodaphone Essar, Airtel, Spice, Escotel, Reliance
Indonesia: XL, Indosat, Hutch 3, Telkomsel
Malaysia: Celcom, DiGi
Philippines: Globe, Smart
Thailand: AIS, DTAC
Vietnam: Mobifone, Viettel, Vinaphone, S-Fone, HT, EVN