Yahoo! Messenger Plugins
With Yahoo! Messenger version 8 has come the additon of Plug-ins, these allow us to add features and functionality to Yahoo! Messenger that we can install if we wish to. It's a really cool concept as you don't have to install them if you don't want to, and if you do install, you can always uninstall at a later stage giving you full control over all your plug-ins.
Some of the Plug-ins have already been pre-installed (like Yahoo! 360°), some are featured and readily available for download from links provided in Yahoo! Messenger itself and some are only available via the Yahoo! Gallery, it's a bit confusing but with a little spare time, an open mind and a wee bit of plonking you will be surprised how quickly you can master it.
One point to note, and it's very important to grasp this concept of our new Plug-in world, is that there is a difference between "Tab Plug-ins" and "Conversation Plug-ins", this appears to be confusing for more than a few people but hopefully in time this will be resolved as more plug-ins become available and more widely known.
Basically Tab Plug-ins are located right underneath your friends list and they cover things like Yahoo! 360°, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Weather, Yahoo! Calendar, iTunes and Ebay etc.. basically they provide instant information.
Conversation Plug-ins are quite different, these are available when you're having an Instant Messenger conversation, the button to access them is only available from your Instant Messenger window. Conversation Plug-ins provide you with options and activities that can be used during your Instant Messenger session, either by yourself or with the person you are conversing with your friends.
While there are featured Tab Plug-ins and Conversation Plug-ins readily available from within Yahoo! Messenger don't overlook the Yahoo! Gallery, it's a little confusing at first but don't be put off, head directly to the Messenger category http://us.gallery.yahoo.com/messenger and have a look around, download few different ones to play with and don't forget if you install a plug-in and don't like it you can always uninstall it later :)
Installing Yahoo! Messenger Plugins
When it comes to installing Yahoo! Messenger Plug-ins it couldn't be easier, for this example we are going to install Andy's YEmote plugin which gives you instant one-click access to all the Yahoo! Messenger smileys including the secret / hidden ones :)
Launch and sign in to Yahoo!
Messenger version 8 (you MUST be running version 8, if you don't have it installed you can download it from here)
Head to http://us.gallery.yahoo.com/apps/380/ which is the YEmote Plug-in page over at the Yahoo! Gallery
look for the download icon
click once on the download icon, if you're using FireFox you should see an External Protocol Request popup
click the button "Launch application"
next will be the Yahoo! Warning notice
click Yes to install the plugin
the Warning window disappears and it looks like nothing has actually happened let alone been installed but it has :)
follow the next set of instructions to access and use the YEmote Plugin.
The YEmote plugin is a "Conversation Plug-in" this means it's only available for use via your Instant Messenger windows it's not visible nor available from your main Yahoo! Messenger screen, so to access your newly installed plugin you need to launch an IM session with someone on you're friends list...
double click a friends name, this will launch an Instant Messenger window
click the Conversation Plug-in icon
click on the My Plug-ins tab to show all the installed Conversation Plug-ins
the YEmote Plug-in may not show immediately, it greatly depends on how Yahoo! is behaving (server issues etc) and your own personal internet connection speed so be a little patient the first time you run it, there's more than a few graphics that need to install :)
Once it loads and you can see the bee icon and the text YEmote, click the Start button directly to the right of it to launch the plugin
YEmote will now load in it's own Conversation tab
hold your mouse over the smileys in the YEmote plugin window to get a preview of the animated smileys or just click on the smiley you wish to use and the key combination code will be automatically inserted into the active IM window ready for you to send
Un-Installing Yahoo! Messenger Plugins
removing plug-ins couldn't be easier, simply click the rubbish bin icon to the right of the start button
once complete you will see a confirmation popup
If you are still have issues with your plugins feel free to check out our Yahoo! Messenger version 8 Plugin Problems article or if you're getting lost trying to find Yahoo! Messenger Plug-ins to install don't worry, you're not alone, check out our article Yahoo! Messenger version 8 Plugins, where are they?