Yahoo! has announced some changes to its Messenger services. According to the Yahoo! Messenger blog, while the messenger itself will be working, the company is shutting down some of the services linked to it. The biggest service to be shut down would be Yahoo! Messenger Public Chat Roomsm which will meet its end on December 14, 2012.

Other services shutting down on the same day are Yahoo! Messenger Pingbox, and the messenger's ability to sync with Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger. While Microsoft buddies will still appear on the Yahoo Messenger contact list, they will be greyed out, and if you attempt to send a message to them, the messages will not be delivered.

The Yahoo! Voice Phone In and Phone Out features are also being closed down. Users can no longer add new funds to their accounts, and active users who have a balance in their accounts will be receiving emailed instructions on how to request a refund. The service will be shut down on January 30, 2013.

Struggling to keep up with the likes of Google

Yahoo is shutting down a number of its Messenger-related services

While Yahoo is closing its relationship with Microsoft's messenger service, the Redmond-based company recently integrated its messenger service with that of Skype.

After Microsoft acquired Skype, the integration between the two companies' products has increased manifold. Skype recently updated its iOS app to enable users to log-in to Skype using their Microsoft account, thus giving iOS users the same ability that is available on the desktop client.

The iOS update also lets users chat with Messenger, Hotmail, and contacts, as well as have the ability to sign in and merge with their Microsoft account. You can also create a Skype account directly from the app itself, making it a simplified procedure if you're new to the VoIP service. Users can also tap and hold on instant messages to edit them, choose an emoticon while typing an instant message, use animated emoticons for devices with a Retina display, and even edit saved phone numbers right from the dial pad. The iPhone version comes with support for the high-resolution display of the iPhone 5.

Earlier in November, the Skype app for Android received an update that allows users to sign in and merge their Skype account with their Microsoft account. Moreover, the design has been changed from the ground up for Android tablets, as per the changelog on Google Play. Skype claims to have improved the audio quality on its service, while also doling out a host of bug fixes. To avail of the update, users will need an Android device running v2.1 or above.

Skype-to-Skype IMs, video, and voice calls from the popular video calling service are free over 3G or Wi-Fi. Users can use their Android device to make low-cost calls and send SMSs to mobiles and landlines. In addition, one can send pictures, videos and files to their contacts.

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