Yahoo is hoping to leverage the 81 million users of its Yahoo Instant Messenger into an army of loyal mobile users as well as it prepares a new application for both the iOS and Android mobile operating systems.
According to Reuters, while speaking with David Katz, Yahoo’s VP of Mobile for the Americas region, it was revealed that the former leading search engine was preparing a new version of its mobile instant messenger that would allow for video calls on both iOS devices and Android handsets. While at least two other mobile apps – Fring and Tango – already do this, the biggest difference is Yahoo’s already huge user base of 81 million users.
On the technical side of the issue, the Yahoo app will apparently work over wireless networks as well as 3G, and will also allow for users to video chat between PCs and mobile devices. While some have speculated that Apple may not thrill to this as it could possibly over shadow its fledgling FaceTime video capability, the company has assured everyone that it has approved similar apps before.
The video conferencing between multiple types of devices is the best aspect of this in our view. As we said recently, Apple needs to get FaceTime into as many devices as possible to make it useful, and that’s what Yahoo has done without breaking much of a sweat. While Apple has added the forward facing cameras with its own software in mind, they may have also just handed Yahoo a big bag of win. While Apple is going to be working to get something out for Macs, PCs, the iPad and so on, Yahoo is setting up a huge network of devices that are ready to go the moment the software comes out.
Now, if I just didn’t hate Yahoo instant Messenger with a fiery passion …
No word on when we’ll see this released, but my assumption would be soon.
What say you? Will you give it a try?