Yahoo! Messenger is an advertisement-supported instant messaging client and associated protocol provided by Yahoo!.
Yahoo! Messenger is provided free of charge and can be downloaded and used with a generic "Yahoo! ID" which also allows
access to other Yahoo! services, such as Yahoo! Mail, where users can be automatically notified when they receive new email.
Yahoo! also offers PC-PC, PC-Phone and Phone-to-PC service, file transfers, webcam hosting, text messaging service, and chat
rooms in various categories. Yahoo chat rooms have become almost useless due to "bots"--automated clients
offering female sexual services to the male members of the chat room.
Yahoo! Messenger was originally launched under the name Yahoo! Pager on 1998-03-09.
In addition to instant messaging features similar to those offered by ICQ, it also offers (on Microsoft Windows) features
such as: IMVironments (customizing the look of Instant Message windows, some of which include authorized
themes of famous cartoons such as Garfield or Dilbert), address-book integration and Custom Status Messages. It was
also the first major IM client to feature BUZZing and music-status. Another recently added feature is customized avatars.