Yahoo! Messenger releases Mac IM 3.0

The Yahoo! IM team just released the 3.0 version of Yahoo! IM for Mac. Yahoo! Messenger for Mac was last updated in September, 2003. Its feature set is interesting, but it appears to lack two of the PC version’s most compelling qualities: VOIP and the growing library of plugins built on the recently released software development kit. It’s hard for me to imagine using any single IM client on my Mac when I can use Adium and connect with all major IM systems at once.

Here’s what it does have:

  • A new interface built in Cocoa, very OS X looking.
  • Avatars and animated emoticons, which I’m sure will appeal to a wide audience.
  • Webcam support, compatible across PCs and Macs – though I personally IM when I don’t want to communicate intimately.
  • Custom stealth settings, eg. everybody but my ex-girlfriend can see that I’m available if I don’t want to talk to her.
  • Visual notifications using the Growl system.
  • IM alerts for Yahoo! Calendar, Mail and Personals. Good idea on their part, but IM alerts for any RSS feed would be even better.

Coming soon: chat with Windows Live (MSN) users. It will be a beautiful day if even the smallest amount of forward progress towards IM compatibility appears.

I’ll be very curious to see if the VOIP and plug-ins available to PC users are included in the future features the company promises.