Yahoo has launched its latest version of Yahoo Messenger with new features including media-playing, large file transfers, and new languages.
The new 9.0 beta version has localized versions for the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, India, and Vietnam, catering to 25 international markets. It also has the ability to transfer an unlimited number of files of up to 2GB. It provides photo-sharing features integrated with Flickr, and enables users to forward incoming calls on the PC to other numbers. Additionally, users have IM, call, and SMS at the contact options.
The final release of the new messenger is scheduled next year.
The competition in the instant messaging market is increasing with both AOL and Microsoft attempting to link messaging to social networking. Microsoft is integrating Windows Live messenger with its own social networking platform, Spaces. Google has also combined its Gtalk client interface to work with its social networking web site Orkut.
The launch of Yahoo Messenger 9.0 and its inclination towards providing social networking features is seen as a step towards creating a centralized system. Yahoo is also reportedly developing its own networking site, named Mash which could be the final integrated product.
Yahoo Messenger has seen its user base grow to 19% over the past year. As of September 2007, AOL, with its AIM and ICQ, has over 30.2 million users in the US, while Yahoo has a user base of 27.7 million users, according to the internet marketing research company, comScore. Yahoo recorded a 30% growth to 94.3 million users, worldwide.
Source: ComputerWire daily updates