Yahoo Launches Messenger 8 With 180 Plugins

Yahoo Messenger Version 8 for Windows, which can be downloaded here, launched out of beta today. Our previous writeup of the beta launch is here.

The key new feature of Messenger 8 is that it is open to third party developers to create widgets that work within the client. Yahoo is reporting that 180 plugins have been created in the last month since the platform was opened.

The five most popular plugins are:

  • Pando: Easy, fast and reliable way to share large files – even folders – with friends, up to 1 GB at a time.
    31,757 downloads since June 20, 2006
  • YEmote: Access ALL the secret and hidden Emoticons quick and easy. Click animated smiley to be insert automatically into your text.
    29,201 downloads since July 11, 2006
  • Yahoo! Greetings eCard: Browse from a selection of eCards to send to your friend while chatting.
    13,358 downloads since June 20, 2006
  • iTunes: iTunes remote for Yahoo! Messenger. Note: you need to have iTunes installed in order to use this plug-in.
    13,125 downloads since July 18, 2006
  • Eazibo: The best way to interactively and instantly make flowcharts or diagrams, share photos and make annotations with your friend online connecting. It’s called “Instant Graphics.”
    11,900 downloads since July 18, 2006

Yahoo Messenger is the second largest IM network after MSN, and even though Yahoo and MSN have announced interoperability (and continue to expand the beta group testing it), there’s still clearly a level of competitiveness between the two teams. Yahoo sent me the chart below comparing the two services.