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10/12/2010
12:06 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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Yahoo Messenger Adds Video Chat Option For iPhone

Don't have enough colleagues, friends or family with an iPhone 4 for FaceTime chats? No worries. Yahoo's newest IM app for the iPhone offers video and voice chat over Wi-Fi and 3G.

Yahoo's Instant Messenger application was one of the first available for the iPhone in 2008. It has added features slowly over the years, but the latest version makes a big jump forward. It adds free voice and video calls between iPhone users and their Messenger friends on other phones and PCs.

Live video calls are available for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, and require iOS 4.1. According to Yahoo, the video chats offer one-to-one live streams of content from the iPhone's camera. They are free between Yahoo IM buddies.

Voice calls are also free between Yahoo IM buddies, but require payment for users to reach mobile phones or landlines from within Yahoo Messenger. Yahoo notes that voice calls to mobile phones or landlines requires users to be a Yahoo Voice Phone Out subscriber, which is only available in the U.S., France, Germany, Spain and Singapore.

Beyond the video/voice chats, the new IM can multitask, which means users can sign in and leave the app running in the background. It will deliver free SMS messages to a user's contacts, and alert users to new chat messages even when the app is running on the background.

According to the reviews of the app in the iPhone App Store, it is getting mixed results from users. Some report that the video feature doesn't work at all, and others complain that it doesn't work with the Mac version of Yahoo IM. Right now, it is earning three out of five stars.

Yahoo says the 2.0 version of the application has added support for Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, Bahasa Indonesia, and Romanian.

It can be downloaded here.

Here is a short video showing how the app works:

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