Yahoo Messenger lets you send instant messages and chat over voice or video with your Yahoo Messenger connections. When you invite people to connect with you on Yahoo Messenger and they accept, certain information is automatically exchanged. One piece of information central to instant messaging is a user's online status. Yahoo Messenger has three basic types of online statuses -- "Available," "Busy" and "Invisible to Everyone" -- so it's easy to determine someone's online status.
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Open Yahoo Messenger on your computer. Type your Yahoo ID and password in their respective boxes and click the "Sign In" button.
Click "Friends" under the "Contacts" tab of Yahoo Messenger to display all of your Yahoo Messenger friends.
Scroll down your "Friends" list and note the online statuses next to their display names. A yellow circle indicates a friend is online and potentially available to chat. A red circle with a white line indicates your friend is busy and should not be disturbed -- unless the matter is urgent or you have a mutual understanding about using Yahoo Messenger. A grey circle indicates a friend is either offline or invisible; in either case, you cannot contact that person.
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