As I posted about previously, it now seems that 3rd party clients are now able to connect to the Yahoo instant messaging service. Reading some info from a /. post, it seems that there is a cat and mouse game being played between Yahoo (in this case) and the 3rd party IM application vendors.
Although Yahoo and indeed other companies can allow or disallow access to their services as they wish, you would think that they wouldn't be that bothered. Well it all comes down to money really. For example, Yahoo IM client has ads on it, so unless you block connections to stop the ads appearing, you will see these ads. If you're using a 3rd party client you won't & this means less clicks on the ads - Yahoo may change the advertisers per click for example, which would mean they are loosing out. Along with this, if you're using a 3rd party client instead, their application might not be free and they might use ads as well.
So there is one reason for blocking external access. Another thing is Yahoo can make money from selling licenses to 3rd parties to allow them access, but this may mean a charge is passed onto users of the alternative clients or (as already discussed) ads might be forced upon users in the program to cover costs paid to Yahoo or whoever, for access to their service.
Security is another concern. I don't really need to discuss it as I'm sure we all can understand what implications there might be with external protocol knowledge and access. Of course Yahoo and indeed MSN, ICQ, AIM etc could choose to integrate better protection and encryption but all of this development for a free service? They'd probably spend too much time and effort on this idea, especially when workarounds arrise and they have to change something again.
It's funny how MSN etc in some situations are hard to block access to on your corporate network - You don't see these companies bothered and trying to help then! Annoying for users of the popular 4 as well - We don't want to have to use 4 seperate clients when we can just simply use one integrated one, which may use less system resources as well! I'd suggest to Yahoo to stay open access - it might actually do them good and attract users to the service if they can stick with their all in one client.
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