A Look Back on Yahoo Chat Rooms

They're no longer available, but here's how they used to work

In the early days of online chat rooms, some of them could be difficult to navigate at first. But, with just a little guidance, Yahoo Chat was both easy and fun to use.

Yahoo's free chat rooms were accessible in Yahoo Messenger, but that service was discontinued in July 2018. The information in this article shows how Yahoo's chat rooms used to work.

Looking for a Yahoo Chat alternative? At several sites you can video chat privately, and in other places users can get on public webcams for free

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The Yahoo Chat Rooms Directory

Yahoo Chat Rooms Directory
Reproduced with permission of Yahoo! Inc. ©2011 Yahoo! Inc.

Below is a closer look at the Yahoo Chat Rooms Directory, the first thing you saw when accessing the chats on Yahoo Messenger.

1. Chat Categories

From this menu, you could navigate between the 17 categories and 39 subcategories of Yahoo Chat rooms. Clicking a category displayed the available rooms in the opposite window panel.

2. Chat Rules
Clicking this link allowed you to learn more about the rules that guided users' activities and actions in each room.

3. Go to Room
Once you chose your Yahoo Chat room, selecting its title and clicking "Go to Room" enabled you to enter the chat.

4. Yahoo Rooms Panel
From this menu, you could navigate between the various Yahoo Chat rooms for each category.

5. Number of Webcam Users
Within the Yahoo Rooms panel, you could view the number of users in the room with a live webcam connected and turned on.

6. Number of Chat Room Users
Next to each Yahoo Chat room title, you could also view the number of users in a particular chat room at that time.

7. Chat Room Aliases
You could protect your identity while using Yahoo Chat rooms by creating aliases from your Messenger account settings.

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A Closer Look at Yahoo Chat Rooms

Yahoo Chat Rooms
Reproduced with permission of Yahoo! Inc. ©2011 Yahoo! Inc.

Below is a closer look at the functionality found in Yahoo Chat rooms.

1. Chat Room Title
In the upper-left corner of the window, you could find the title of any Yahoo Chat room you opened.

2. Actions Menu
From the Actions menu, you could locate a number of features to help you share and connect with other Yahoo Chat users, including a webcam, voice chat, file send, and text chat.

3. Chat Area
Any message sent into Yahoo Chat appeared here.

4. Text/Emoticon Area
To personalize the Yahoo Chat experience, you could add Yahoo emoticons and bold or italicize text and use different fonts or colors.

5. Text Field
Messages were entered here to send them to the chat room.

6. Report Abuse
You could click this link to report inappropriate activity within the chat rooms.

7. Chat Room Users
From this panel, you could browse the users currently using the room where you were.

8. Webcam Users
Connected webcam users were indicated with a TV set icon next to their screen name. 

9. Voice/Audio Users
Audio users were indicated with a Yahoo smiley with headphones icon next to their screen name.