June 27, 2001
By adding video to its instant-messaging software, the portal is hoping to leapfrog MSN -- and maybe get the jump on AOL
Who says nothing is happening in the Internet world except pink slips? On June 26, Yahoo! announced that it is offering new instant-messaging software that incorporates a Webcam into IMing. In addition to a pop-up box with text in it, users can now send camera shots of themselves instantly over the Net. That gives the struggling portal a jump on IM rival Microsoft, which will not release a video-enabled IM system until October. It could also help Yahoo! in its long-running battle with IM giant America Online.
The new video system will integrate into Yahoo!s existing IM offering. Users will have a buddy list, and the system will alert them when buddies are online, which ones have a Webcam, and who is accepting video. The software can be set to allow only specific buddies to trade video and to ask permission each time someone seeks to establish a video connection. Yahoo!s IM software can also be set to let all comers share the scene being viewed by a users Webcam.
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