"Yahoo Messenger with Voice continues to lead the marketplace by delivering a comprehensive communications suite and providing the greatest choice for consumers to stay connected to one another—whether its through text IM, voice calling, e-mail or mobile messaging," said Yahoo Messenger director of product management Frazier Miller.
The new service, also officially renamed Yahoo Messenger with Voice, requires both parties to have Yahoo Messenger installed, in addition to a microphone or speakers.
For the best sound quality, Yahoo suggests that, alternately, users plug a headset into the computer and use that for both talking and listening.
To start a call, users roll the mouse over a name on the messenger list. After the persons info card appears, users can click the phone icon to call.
Once the other party answers, its time to talk. When receiving a call, users will receive a notification, and after accepting the incoming call, will be able to talk as well.
Users can also decline calls or choose an IM-only option, which will turn an incoming call into an instant message.
The new system will also come with a handful of ring tones, free voicemail and a call history that shows what calls were made, the times calls were made and the duration of each call.
In a previous interview with Ziff Davis Internet News, Frazier Miller, director of product management for Yahoo Messenger, said that Skypes hype led the company into deciding to add the feature to the messaging program, but to expect strong results thanks to Yahoos strong marketing abilities.
"Certainly, the Skypes of the world have helped prove out the market," he said.