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Yahoo SMS - What's New? Yahoo SMS!

14 August 2002
Written by Richard Browning

Amongst all the normal everyday people out there, there lurks a strange creature - one with super-fast typing fingers, a quick wit, a large vocabulary of abbreviations, and an untamable desire for conversation. A creature whose skills are only exceeded by its mystery.

I am of course referring to the chat addict; those of us who chose to stare deep into our computer monitors hoping to connect with the invisible people that make up the rest of the world. Chat is not a hobby, it is a lifestyle.

With this in mind, Telstra and Yahoo! have teamed up to bring a smile to the faces of chat addicts everywhere. To unite PC and mobile phone, Telstra and Yahoo! Australia & NZ have teamed up to bring Yahoo! Messenger to Telstra mobile phones.

Yahoo! Messenger, the popular Internet-based messaging application, has been used to join chat addicts the world over with its instant messaging capabilities (which, for the uninitiated, are very similar to that of ICQ or MSN Messenger) - including 830,000 regular Australian users. With the new initiative “Yahoo! Messenger for SMS” which was announced today, Yahoo! Messenger instant messages can now be received on Telstra mobiles. This means that where the service was previously purely PC based, it now expands to allow messaging away from the PC to virtually anywhere mobile phone reception is found. Chat addicts all let us rejoice!

Telstra mobiles, on either pre-paid or contract services, can now receive and send instant messages to and from the Yahoo! Messenger service - creating a natural blend between PC for home use and mobile phone for mobile use. Telstra is, of course, the first network to support the Messenger for SMS application. But if the past is anything to go by, we may well see the other networks follow suit with similar services.

To access the service, the process is very simple. Telstra users simply have to set up the Yahoo! Messenger service on their PC (a small download from http://messenger.yahoo.com.au and a quick look at the help and setup pages if needed), and set up their details and contacts who they wish to message (known as a “Friends” list). Once signed in, an SMS is sent to the Telstra mobile showing who - from the “Friends” list - is online. Almost all the functions possible from a PC are also possible from a Telstra mobile and an extensive list of commands and shortcuts is available on the Yahoo! website.

“Help” and “Friends” lists are sent free of charge, but every message sent from your Telstra mobile phone to either a PC or mobile phone is charged at the standard SMS rate. There is also a charge of 25 cents per message sent from Yahoo! Messenger to your mobile handset. As per usual, PC to PC messaging incurs no extra cost.

So for those who are addicted to conversation with verbalisation, this may come as a long awaited gift. Whilst it may be a bit expensive for deep and meaningful conversations which last hours, it still has its merits for those long economics lectures where a silent human conversation is worth every last cent.

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