Yahoo Messenger with Phone Features Next Week

21 Comments

Yahoo, which has already released a new version of its Communicator (Instant Messaging) product overseas, plans to launch a similar client next week, according to sources familiar with the company’s plans. The new release of the IM client has a brand new voice core, and it allows users to make phone calls to PSTN phones as well, in addition to PC-to-PC calls.

The pricing for the callout numbers is not certain as yet, though the current generation communicator allows unlimited incoming calls for $2.99 a month or $29.99 a year. The new offering, according to those in the know is likely to put Yahoo on an equal footing with Skype. Yahoo, clearly has designs on stealing market share from Skype.

As part of this new release, Yahoo is also going to incorporate banner ads in the Communicator client and will use some of the inventory to educate folks about how to use the built in phone/conference type features. The thinking within Yahoo is that by since they serve a more mainstream audience, a little handholding is not such a bad thing. Of course, the advertising revenues could help defray the “everyday low prices” on voice minutes.

While walking down the VoN showfloor, I discovered a wifi phone which will be sold by AT&T and has a link-up with Yahoo IM client. It looked pretty slick. Seems like Yahoo is getting serious about VoIP and Voice opportunities. It took them long enough, it seems.

21 Comments

noah

I like yahoo I was wateingfor them to make a yahoo for windows moble I dident like yahoo go 2.0 I’m wateing for 3.0 to come out although I got yahoo go so I could chat I have a clint for chat on my phone butt it is all screwed up so now I cannot use it I love yahoo e-mail me wen you can by

Florence Mitchell

I had the yahoo messenger with phone out .
I just put money in it again this Morning.
You just stoped it .
It doesn`t make me trust you with any money of mine. Florence Mitchell

Christos Manavopoulos

(1)I tried Skype. Disappointing. Yet, they gave my money back!

(2) I tried VoIPBuster. Never mind.

(3) I switched to Yahoo. Bad, very bad. Worse even because they do not respond to complaints. No way to communicate with them. I sent tens of complain messages. No answer. I cannot even ask for my money back…

(4)Now I am using AdCalls. Much better than all of the above put together. And it’s FREE!

Note: I must comment Skype for, at least, returning my money!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Greg Gorman

I just installed the new Yahoo client. It constantly displays Flash advertisements! What a mess. I’ll have to go back to Gaim or some other client, it’s incredibly annoying.

ahmad

any news about the new version of Yahoo Messenger for Mac OSX? the posts here are three months old… any recent news?!

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Savvy Chick

About 2 days ago, a colleague and I set out on a mission to talk for 20 minutes on each of the following in order to see who was the best. Skype, Yahoo Voice and MSN. Surprisingly, for us, Yahoo won. Skype disconnected us like 5 times, MSN was a bit echo-y but didn’t disconnect us like Skype and didn’t sound very good if the mic was a little too close. Yahoo for me was the best, though the sound quality just wasn’t quite as crystal clear as Skype (not saying that Skype is crystal clear either though, but when comparing apples to apples). I didn’t gett dropped from Yahoo either, so that was a plus. Skype drops me all the time these days and it is ANNOYING. Even my skypein and skypeout calls are getting dropped more than usual. I am kind of happy to see Yahoo get in on the game, however that means one more window/program I have to keep open. The price is right with Yahoo Voice though, can’t beat it. There’s no “phone in” number for my area code yet, hoping there’s lots more of them to come. Since it was just released I guess I can cut them some slack for now.

Carlton

Well, the prices are preatty cheap, even though you can use services like Phone In only in few countries. What is making me sceptic about phone quality is the amount of ads and the “funny comic colour style”…
And the quality of the video conferencing is really bad. Looks as if Yahoo did not improve at all within the last years.
It doesn´t make me confident about phone quality. Doesn´t look professional. Will not try it.

Eagle_Kiwi

“Yahoo, which has already released a new version of its Communicator (Instant Messaging) product overseas, plans to launch a similar client next week…”

I’m skeptical about this story, from unspecified “sources”.
Firstly, I’ve never heard the term “Communicator” in relation to Yahoo (Netscape maybe, Yahoo never!) – the product is called Yahoo Messenger With Voice, and has been available worldwide for months.

However, in most countries it still allows PC-to-PC only (free), but 8 “test” countries have – since January – access to PC-to-Phone service (“PhoneOut”, similar to but much cheaper than “SkypeOut”).
I’ve used this regularly from New Zealand here to call friends’ phones worldwide – ease of use is unbelievable!

Details are at http://voice.yahoo.com – but this site displays quite differently depending on which group of countries you’re in. (See earlier story, and screenshots, at http://www.bigblueball.com/forums/yahoo-messenger-news/33206-yahoo-undercut-skype-phone-rates.html#post188139&referrerid=62526 )

skibare

OM, whose network do you think YAHOO will use??? given the YAHOO/SBC relationship of ole DSL, I am betting ATT myself!!!!
Skibare
given VZ going after the “””TUGBOAT”” qwest, wonder who else will consolidate?????? I need a scorecard to ”score” who is sleeping with whom and who wants to Shag whom!

Aaron Johnson

CyKiller here once again to provide a little input, moreover to something I saw from “foodswami” with the comment about meebo and VoIP. It is going to happen, and a lot of all-in-one IM clients are soon to be the AOI VoIP client which tells us something about the future of communication and pricing on minutes. As voice gets cheaper VoIP companies will have to find a way to actually make money around charging for voice and the optional features they are providing.

Yahoo is following the trend which is the answer to the question, advertisement. With something like meebo with VoIP all calls would be theoretically free to and from any IM client. I am sure these VoIP companies know this which is why we see a lot of main search engine companies (big advertising) riding the bandwagon of VoIP. They are taking a community and presenting them with a communication structure which was missing from the IM clients. As VoIP matures and the devices that carries it we will see more advertising which will make or break the company depending on the output to the consumer.

foodswami you don’t sound confusing at all, you just told the future ;)

Om Malik

the os-x communicator is still under construction. i think the UI is what they are working on right now, according to my sources. will keep you guys posted.

Johnathan

Where is the rumored beta of the new Yahoo Messenger w/VOIP for Mac OS X ?

Last I read, it was supposed to come out by now.

foodswami

what if they had a meebo voip client?

where you can call/(voip IM) other people, from one platform, on logon, thro a browser

confusing? I dont even know if im making sense

Rick

It’s getting complicated isn’t it. The end-user client is coming from all directions. I believe the IM’s will be the next phones.

Yahoo will definitely have better customer service and problem resolution than Skype.

Eddy Vojnar

In some parts of the USA Verizon DSL only supports Yahoo on MAC systems. How do you think VZ will respond to Yahoo’s offering low cost
voip services competing againist VZ Voicewing? Seems I read somewhere recently that VZ was going to turn up the sales and marketing of Voicewing in 2006.

Saul Weiner

I love this. I’m a skype user who has had endless technical issues with skype. Lots of malfunctions of the software. I’ve been looking for a replacement and this may be it. Yahoo! have shown that their IM client can handle itself.

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