Yahoo will release version 9.0 of its instant messaging software for Windows tonight. Among the updates a nifty embedded media option, higher transfer limits and expanded local markets.
Now users can share their favorite movies, audio, images and maps by embedding the content directly into a chat conversation by using the new “in-line media player. Also, playback of videos and Flickr photoshows can be synchronized with another friend – so you can watch things unfold simultaneously. At this time, the sync will only work with two chatters total.
Given this foray into new media with larger file sizes, Yahoo has upped the file transfer limit to 2GB per-file and will automatically scan files with Norton AntiVirus.
Users can also now send SMS messages to their friends’ cell phones with a desktop client. Also, calls can be sent from Yahoo Messenger to a mobile phone or landline as a voicemail.
Six new markets will be able to take advantage of localized features. Among them, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, India (in Hindi), and Vietnam – bringing the total to 25 localized versions.
Yahoo is boasting nearly a 20% growth in the messenger space, while some sources have AOL/AIM as low as 2%.
These 9.0 upgrades clearly are trying to compensate for Yahoo’s lack of a social networking platform (especially with the recent announcement that Yahoo 360 is being phased out). With over 94 million people currently using Messanger, the seeds have already been planted to take on MySpace and Facebook. Will Yahoo finally get lucky?