Yahoo! Messenger 5.5 offers users the ability to communicate in real-time video of up to 20 frames per second, with two window sizes and the ability to zoom. The small window size offers 160 pixel by 120 pixel resolution, and the large window offers 320 pixel by 240 pixel resolution.
With the new instant messenger software, also called Yahoo! Messenger Super Webcam, the company also hopes to distinguish itself from rivals such as America Online and Microsoft, which have been slower to adopt interactive instant messaging capabilities.
The company said it has experienced rapid adoption of the original rollout of its Messenger Webcam software, introduced last June, which now claims more than six million users.
In addition to enhancing Webcam features, Yahoo! has added personalisation features, such as the ability to choose theme background environments for the instant messaging window, more IMVironment options, plus animated emoticons that allow users to express eye-rolling, raising an eyebrow and applauding hands.
The top spot for instant messaging goes to AOL's AIM service, followed by MSN Messenger, with Yahoo! in third place, according to researcher Jupiter Media Metrix.
Yahoo! Messenger can be downloaded for free online at http://messenger.yahoo.com