Yahoo just launched
a redesigned homepage last week with a sleeker and slightly less crowded design. With the greater emphasis on the core services and a better harmonization between different services the focus on the homepage is understandable. One of the best new features of the homepage is the favorites section, which is entirely customizable with sites, widgets or modules for the different Yahoo services. One of the
modules is for the company's popular instant messenger and the team behind Yahoo Messenger has decided to give a more detailed description
of the features.
The messenger module is enabled by default but if for some reason it is missing it can be added to the list by clicking the “add” button, which brings up a list of available widgets. Scrolling though the list you'll find the module and can add it to your homepage by pressing the “add” button next to it. The functionality is similar to the IM module in Yahoo Mail, with all of your regular contacts showed in their groups but also showing the contacts from the address book.
If you want to start a conversation all you have to do is click on the IM or SMS icon. If you are on a desktop computer this will bring up Yahoo Messenger with a new chat window with your friend. There is also the possibility to send an SMS to your contact but only if you have associated a mobile phone number with it. There is no internal chat capability like in Gmail's integrated chat though Yahoo does offer a full-blown web messenger client so this might have been redundant. Still, integration at least with the web client would have been nice.
The functionality is pretty basic but Yahoo does offer some other small features that could prove useful, like the possibility to search through your contacts. Only one group is viewable at any one time and you can change between groups by pressing the arrow on the right. There is also the possibility to sort the list only alphabetically or in reverse alphabetical order.