Following a similar announcement from Microsoft earlier this month, Yahoo is offering members the ability to send and receive live video feeds to buddies through its Yahoo Messenger instant messaging service.
Three weeks ago, Microsoft announced it would provide live video feeds in its MSN Messenger software. The instant messaging software will also be embedded in the Windows XP desktop, which is scheduled to be released October 25.
America Online still dominates the instant messaging market with its AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), but Microsoft hopes to move in by making its software accessible to the 94 percent of PC users with its Windows desktops.
Yahoo is aligned with Microsoft in trying to open AIM's buddy list, so members can chat, regardless of which company's software they use.
The new Yahoo video service works with Webcams made by Switzerland-based Logitech International SA and has been offered on a trial basis for the past three weeks on the Yahoo Web site. Once the webcam is installed and the software is downloaded from Yahoo, members can send and receive video feeds by clicking on the name of a member in their buddy lists who opt in to the video feed. The Webcams range in price from US$49.95 to $149.95.
Users must run Windows 95, NT or 98 and have the Logitech Webcam to use the service.