Socializing via instant messenger services has come to grow on us and become an ever increasing part of our online lives. Worrying for some, not worth looking into for others, chatting is a damned good pass-time activity. And, like any other product that has come to be successful, it is constantly being worked upon for the users' enjoyment and the producing company's profit.
Let's face it, they're not doing it only for us, with Yahoo! there's always some advertising involved, and because it's interconnected with the email service, there's some good money to be made by the Sunnyvale based company from that too. But this is not about monetizing campaigns and techniques, it's down to the basics of entertainment and positive feedback.
The emoticons (or smilies, as some know them) have been given a voice. They don't have yet autonomous thinking so you won't be able to hear one of them pop up onto your screen and start a speech like "People of the world, I have an important announcement to make!" Nevertheless, they do a pretty good job of expressing with audio what they've done so far with motion only.
The yellow, PacMan looking blobs that did stuff now say stuff. Or act it out, for that matter, while saying it. You can send the shy dot with a smooch over to your girlfriend (or boyfriend, either way nobody's judging) and hear it make the kissing noise. Or you can send the devilish laughter while enjoying the audio side and thinking about what the effect on the other will be. Maybe the receiver isn't really paying attention and it will scare the bejesus out of him or her.
Either way, there's 8 of your favorite emoticons that turned into audibles, among which the cowboy and even the simple smiley face. Access them by clicking on the button with the lips above the text box, go to 'More Audibles' and choose 'See All Audibles.' You can't miss them, they're the 'Emoticons,' quite obvious.