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In Depth / Articles
What is Messenger?
For a long time, Yahoo! Messenger (or Yahoo! Pager as it was called), was simply another contacts list program, similar to that of MSN. It didn't feature any extra features like Chat Rooms or WebCams, but has had voice chat for a while. Over the last year, Yahoo! Messenger came with it's own chat client for accessing Yahoo! Chat Rooms, and since version 5.0, it comes with webcams, more smileys, and IMVironments!
How Yahoo! Messenger works
Yahoo! Messenger works on the Yahoo! ID. This is the same for your Yahoo! Email, your Yahoo! Profile and Yahoo! Chat etc... You simply log into the messenger service using your existing Yahoo! ID and password. Since version 5.5, users can be known as anything they like, through the nickname system. What this allows is for you to use any name you like, but please remember your real ID is sent along with it, and is visible to all users.
The Yahoo! ID
The Yahoo! ID must contain only letters, numbers and underscores and nothing else. My ID for example, is freddy18uk. Although you might sign up with capitals in the ID, it will only show as lowercase. It may not start with a number, begin or end with a _, or have two or more consecutive _s. Abusive terms, and words like Yahoo are also not allowed within the ID. The nickname practically allows anything.
You can use a nickname instead of your normal ID in Yahoo! Chat. Users of the chat2.0 and Messenger service will see your nikcname rather than your Yahoo! ID. The nickname is not as strict as user IDs, and you can use the same name as somebody else.
How it differs from MSN, ICQ, AIM etc...
There are many ways in which it differs. Firstly most of the above don't have chat rooms integrated within the messenger software. Also, Yahoo! Rooms do NOT have moderators of any type, user or official. And although users can create their own rooms, they have no authority over who can and cannot chat in their room.
What is an IMVironment
IMVironments are like interactive scripts within the Instant Messenger windows. They provide backgrounds, and features, such as throwing snowballs, some even contain games, such as chess. They come with more smileys and sounds.
Where to download
If you haven't already, Yahoo! Messenger may be downloaded from http://messenger.yahoo.com (for US users), replace the .com with your international code for other users. Please note international versions are usually behind.