Yahoo's Messenger App for iPhone includes video calling, challenging Apple's own FaceTime application in an increasingly crowded market for mobile multimedia software.
Yahoo Oct. 12 said it has added video calling capability to its instant
messaging application for the iPhone, rivaling Apple's own FaceTime video
Available for free now in Apple's App Store, Yahoo Messenger App for iPhone
let users make voice and video calls to their contacts using Yahoo Messenger on
their PCs, as well as low-cost national and international calls to landline or
Interestingly, the app mimics the capabilities of Apple's FaceTime video
calling app, which the company launched with the iPhone 4 in June.
The app works only between users with iPhone 4 handsets or new iPod Touches
and only via WiFi, but it's still an app that Apple would normally ban because
it provides similar functionality of its own software.
Apple, before relaxing its developer terms
last month, banned third-party
apps such as Google Voice for competing with iPhone features.
Yahoo's Messenger App for iPhone lets one user make video calls and stream
live video to another via WiFi and a wireless carrier's network, and allows
users to make voice calls to their Messenger contacts. Users must have an
iPhone 4 or 3GS unit to conduct video calls.
Users can also send unlimited, free text messages with the app, which will
run in the background as users access other iPhone apps. Some Messenger users
may want to share photos and video. They can do so, in real time, with their
Yahoo confirmed the new Messenger App for iPhone functionality, which
Reuters scooped, in this blog post
, which includes a video demo of the software.
Reuters also noted
that Yahoo will bring video calling capabilities to
Yahoo Messenger App for Android in the future.
Yahoo has been more aggressive with its mobile apps of late, launching
in July Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Messenger
applications for Android as well as a search widget for the operating system
created by Google for smartphones, tablets and other mobile computing devices.
The company's strategy makes sense: Yahoo is one of the leading mobile
advertising providers, with 9 percent of the total U.S. market
, according to IDC.
Luring users with new functionality could help Yahoo maintain or boost its
mobile ad share in a competitive market where Google, Apple, Microsoft and others
are aggressively pursuing the ad dollars.