Yahoo! Inc. and Microsoft Corp. have announced an agreement to connect users of their consumer instant messaging (IM) services on a global basis.
The industry’s first interoperability agreement between two distinct leading global consumer IM providers will give MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger users the ability to interact with each other, forming what is expected to be the largest consumer IM community in the world, estimated to be more than 275 million strong.
According to the companies, being able to instant message between IM communities was one of the most requested features by MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger users.
In addition to exchanging instant messages, consumers from both communities will be able to see their friends’ online presence, share select emoticons, and add new contacts from either service to their friends’ list, all as part of their free IM service.
Yahoo! and Microsoft plan to introduce these interconnectivity capabilities between MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger to customers around the world in the second quarter of 2006