yahoo messenger 9.jpgYahoo Messenger 9 Beta has been in production for months, and yesterday it received and update that provides even more improvements and features. One of the things that really caught my attention in their demonstration video was the Flickr and YouTube integration, which automatically converts hyperlinks into embedded media. That way you can share and watch YouTube videos without ever leaving the chat window.

There are a significant number of other features that they include in this release as well. You can, for example, import contacts from other services such as Gmail and AOL, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to chat with your friends on all of those other networks. Here’s a more detailed list of features provided by the Yahoo Messenger blog:

  • Games are back! – Checkers, pool, toki toki boom…you know the rest. Note that your friend needs to be on 8.1 or this latest release of 9.0 Beta to play games with you.
  • Status message improvements – The status message menu has been split into two parts – one where you can indicate your availability (busy, available) and the other for putting in a custom message or a link you want to share.
  • Yahoo! Updates – Yahoo! Messenger is one of the first products to showcase what your friends are doing on Yahoo!. When a friend buzzes a favorite news story or changes their Avatar, a Yahoo! Update is displayed next to that friend in your contact list (with more detail in their contact card).
  • Import Contacts – Select “Import Contacts” from the Contacts menu and you can add friends from address books you have on other sites like Gmail, Orkut, Yahoo! Address Book, Hotmail, AOL and many more. We’ll pull in your contacts and make it easy for you to start talking with them on Yahoo! Messenger.
  • Voice in chat rooms for Vista users & faster Captcha process – We added a fix to this latest version of Yahoo! Messenger 9.0 Beta that allows Windows Vista users on 9.0 to use voice in chat rooms (and conferences).
  • New IM notification toast – When a new message comes in to the background window, a small notification will pop up from the lower right corner of your screen with the beginning text of the IM your friend just sent.

If you’re still not convinced checkout the video below to see if the new Yahoo Messenger 9 Beta is what you’ve been longing for. Or if you’re using Vista be sure to try their uber sweet Vista Messenger.

Get Yahoo Messenger 9 Beta for Windows [via Webware]