As Yahoo prepares a new version of its Yahoo Messenger chat application, a beta version of Yahoo Messenger 10 is already downloadable for Windows users.
For this version of the application, Yahoo has focused its attention on webcam features. The selling point on this update is the ability to start high-quality video calls with audio. Until now, users could make low-quality video calls with no audio feature.
This new feature will only work for one-to-one calls to other users with the same version. The older ability to broadcast your webcam to multiple users (no audio) has not been updated.
From the Yahoo Messenger Blog:
Features include the ability to swap video windows, position the video windows side-by-side, mute the call or place it on hold. You can even go full-screen with your video call. To get started, click the new “Video Call” button in the IM window.
Video of New Features:
In addition to the video update, Yahoo has made a few other improvements:
- Real-time stream of updates from Twitter, Yahoo Buzz, last.fm, etc.
- Start chat from updates (recent activity, availability)
- New ways to sort contacts
- Updated icon designs
I don’t know anybody who uses Yahoo Messenger anymore; most of my friends have migrated to Skype or Google Chat. However, they either have enough users that Yahoo would bother to invest in building up the video application or else they are trying to attract users from other apps.
Complaints Already Pouring In
Despite the Beta tag, over 100 comments on the Yahoo Messenger Blog are complaints about design, missing features and user friendliness. At least 20 bugs were found by users within the first few hours of release, which will hopefully be fixed for the final version.
Personally, I think they’ve lost this fight, although Y! Messenger seems to be very popular in some European countries. Several commenters from Romania are begging for a translation; one said:
Oh come on Romanians are mega-fans of Y! Messenger… it’s a true phenomenon… we even have the word “mes” to denote Y! Messenger in sentences like “hai intră pe mes” (”go log in on Y! Messenger”)
Get Yahoo Messenger 10
Version 10 Beta Available at Yahoo
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