Yahoo announced today that limited public beta of interoperability between Yahoo Messenger and Microsoft Live Messenger will begin. This combined effort between Yahoo and Microsoft will create the world's largest consumer instant messaging community, with almost 350 million accounts. Once cross-communication between the two services has been fully implemented, Yahoo Messenger users will be able to send instant messages to Live Messenger users, and visa versa. Users of either service will also be able to add members of both services to their contact list, as well as view each others profiles.
"Interoperability between IM services has consistently topped our users' wish lists, and through the collaborative efforts between Yahoo! and Microsoft we are delighted to provide our combined global users with the ultimate IM experience," said Brad Garlinghouse, senior vice president of communications, community and front doors, Yahoo! Inc. "A new era for staying connected with friends and family is here and the bridge between Yahoo! and Microsoft's IM communities is bringing people around the world closer together."
Those who wish to participate in the public beta will need to upgrade to the latest version of their messenger of choice.