A Look Back on Yahoo Chat Rooms

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

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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? Several sites offer services where users can video chat privately. In other services, 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 that users saw when accessing the chats on Yahoo Messenger.

Chat Categories: This menu was used to navigate between the 17 categories and 39 subcategories of Yahoo Chat rooms. Clicking a category displayed the available rooms in the opposite window panel.

Chat Rules: Clicking this link displayed information about the rules that guided user activities and actions in each room.

Go to Room: After a user chose a Yahoo Chat room, selecting its title and clicking Go to Room added them to the chat.

Yahoo Rooms Panel: This menu was used to navigate between the various Yahoo Chat rooms for each category.

Number of Webcam Users: The Yahoo Rooms panel displayed the number of users in the room with a live webcam that was connected and turned on.

Number of Chat Room Users: The number of users in a chat room displayed next to each Yahoo Chat room title.

Chat Room Aliases: Users protected their identity while using Yahoo Chat rooms by creating aliases from their 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.

Chat Room Title: The title of an open Yahoo Chat room appeared in the upper-left corner of the window.

Actions Menu: The Actions menu contained features to share and connect with other Yahoo Chat users, including a webcam, voice chat, file send, and text chat.

Chat Area: Any message sent to Yahoo Chat appeared here.

Text/Emoticon Area: To personalize the Yahoo Chat experience, users added Yahoo emoticons and bold or italicize text and use different fonts or colors.

Text Field: Messages were entered in this field to send them to the chat room.

Report Abuse: Users clicked this link to report inappropriate activity in chat rooms.

Chat Room Users: This panel was used to browse the users currently using the room.

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

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