Yahoo! IM Puts Broadband in Picture


Hoping to up the ante in the instant-messaging competition, Yahoo! Inc. has released a new version of its
'Yahoo! Messenger' aimed at bringing broadband users into the picture.

The updated version, 'Messenger 5.5,' includes 'Super Webcam,' a faster,
higher-quality video-transmission system that allows broadband users to send
each other video messages.

Yahoo! introduced its' Messenger Webcam' last summer for mostly a dial-up
audience, and through July it has drawn in about 6 million Webcam users.

The souped-up Super Webcam gives users with high-speed connections a way to
communicate using real-time video at up to 20 frames per second, compared with
the 1 frame per second supported by the previous version.

It also adds higher resolutions and the ability to zoom, with a choice of two
window frame sizes -- a smaller 160-by-120-pixel option and a larger
320-by-240-pixel frame.

To date, Yahoo! claims the No. 3 spot for IMing in the United States. With
16.7 million users, it trails behind America Online Inc.'s 28.3 million and
Microsoft Corp. ISP MSN's 24.1 million.