Text messaging allows you to communicate with your contacts in real time. You can send and receive text messages from your Yahoo! account. The one caveat is that your recipient's mobile device must have SMS (Short Message Service) capability. Not every mobile carrier supports text messaging via Yahoo! but many do. You must be signed in to Yahoo! Mail's chat feature to send and receive text messages.
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Finding the Text Message Option
Sign into Yahoo! Mail's "chat" feature and make sure your status is set to "available." In the Yahoo! Mail window, click on the "New" tab in Yahoo! Classic or the "Compose" tab in later versions. A drop-down menu will open, allowing you to specify whether you want to send an e-mail, chat or SMS message. Click on "SMS" or type "T" to select. If you don't have cellphone numbers stored for any of your contacts, you won't see the SMS option -- you'll need to add the cellphone number first.
Selecting a Contact
The first time you send a text message, you will be prompted to input your location from a drop-down menu. This only needs to be done once unless you send future texts from a different region. Once you have selected the SMS option and confirmed your location, a conversation tab should open. Begin typing your contact's cellphone number or name. If you've saved the contact's name or number, it will pop up as an option on a list of choices. Select your recipient from the list. Make sure the cellphone number includes the area code.
Sending your Text Message
Compose your text message, keeping it as short as possible. Texts have a 158-character limit but most are shorter than this. When you are ready, send your message by hitting the "Enter" key or clicking the "Send" button. When your contact responds, you will see the reply in the message area.
Switching Message Formats
If you have complete information for a contact -- e-mail address, chat identity and cellphone number -- you can begin a message in one format and switch to another. You can change back and forth using one of the three icons near the top right of any message window -- an envelope for e-mail, a speech bubble with an exclamation mark for chat and a cellphone for SMS text messages. Just click on one of the icons and continue typing. Note that you can't send a long e-mail as an SMS.
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