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Monday, 22 October, 2001, 10:27 GMT 11:27 UK
Yahoo enhances instant messages
Garbage lead singer Shirley Manson
Garbage: Signed up to Yahoo's messenger service
Internet portal Yahoo is to upgrade its instant messaging service, allowing users to swap music and video files.

The company has signed up nine media partners who will provide content to Yahoo's messaging community.

Instant messages allow registered users to swap information while online and the service is increasingly seen as a platform for audio and music services in the future.

Yahoo is one of the partners in Pressplay, the planned online music service being set up in conjunction with Sony and Vivendi Universal.


Yahoo's messenger service is enormously popular
Rival internet company AOL, which is investing in a separate music service, Musicnet, dropped a feature from its messaging service last year which allowed users to search for music files.

The company was concerned that copyrighted music files were being swapped by users.

Rock band Garbage has signed up as one of Yahoo's partners and its single Androgyny will be available for instant message users to share.

Yahoo has said it hopes to sign up more music partners over time to increase the availability of music to users.

Other content available to Yahoo users includes comic strips from Peanuts, previews of new games from Nintendo and an animated fighting game.

'Innovative'

More than five billion instant messages were sent using Yahoo in September, up 115% on last year, according to internet tracking company Media Matrix.

Lisa Pollock, director of messaging products at Yahoo, said: "We are keenly focused on our users' needs and will continue to introduce more innovative features."

The battle for supremacy in the instant messaging market is extremely fierce with AOL and Microsoft offering rival systems.

See also:

10 Oct 01 | Business
Napster 'successors' emerge
10 Oct 01 | New Media
Crunch day for Napster
12 Jun 01 | Business
EU opens online music probe
06 Jun 01 | Business
Victory for music giants?
30 Apr 01 | Business
Online music bonanza
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