Yahoo! Mail Gets Built-in IM Chat and SMS Texting
Article by George Norman
On 29 Jan 2009
It seems that Yahoo! is getting their mail client to follow in the steps of Google’s Gmail and has fitted Yahoo! Mail Classic with an IM (instant messaging) client that lets you chat in real-time with your friends, and an SMS feature that lets you send out text messages directly from Yahoo Mail to your friend’s smartphone or iPhone .

“When you sign into Mail Classic, your IM contact list will appear on the left hand sidebar below your main folder list (screenshot). If your status says offline, just click on it and select “Available” to sign in. You’ll then see who’s available to chat and it will show you as online to other friends that have you in their address books,” explains Product Manager with Yahoo! Messenger, Sarah Bacon.

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I can see the functionality of this feature: instead of composing an email and sending it out, you can convey that message in real time. I can also see the uselessness of this app: if you already have Yahoo! Messenger installed on your machine, and you friend is online, then you can talk to him directly from the IM client, you do not really need to access Yahoo! Mail. Not to mention that you will be signed out of Yahoo! Messenger when you set your status to Available in Yahoo! Mail’s IM.

One could argue that by adding Yahoo!’s instant messaging client to Yahoo! Mail does away with having to download Yahoo! Messenger and installing it. That is indeed true, but if you do not want to download and install any software, there is already Yahoo! Messenger for the Web.

“Once you start a conversation, a window pops up in the lower right corner of your Mail Classic page. You can move the window elsewhere by dragging the top bar or resize it by clicking and dragging on the lower right corner. The conversation window includes a tabbed interface so you can have multiple conversations at once without cluttering up your Mail page. Instant message on one tab, SMS on another,” says Sarah Bacon.

This one I particularly like and I’ll tell you why: because it is not limited to the US of A alone.



Tags: Yahoo!, Yahoo! Messenger
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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