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More Phones Getting New IM Options

New York — Wireless instant messaging is coming to more cellphones, and a new IM option gives subscribers the ability to share pictures instantly.

In one development, RIM announced that it’s working with Yahoo and AOL to expand the selection of RIM BlackBerries with instant messaging options. A third-party developer offers an IM solution for the Blackberry 7100t, but the company wants to bring IM to “as many BlackBerries as possible,” a spokeswoman said.

At an unspecified date, future BlackBerries will come with Yahoo’s IM client pre-installed; AOL’s agreement with RIM doesn’t specify pre-installation, but RIM is working with AOL on delivering that, the spokeswoman said.

For the visually oriented, AOL launched instant picture messaging through Cingular. AOL expects other carriers to adopt the service in the first half.

The service, called Mobile AIM Pictures, lets cellphone users IM a picture to another cellphone or to a PC. Likewise, PC users can IM a picture to an IM-equipped cellphones.

In a related venture, AOL migrated its desktop You’ve Got Pictures service to Cingular phones equipped with WAP 2.0 browser. Now consumers can download pictures from their AOL online picture locker to their cellphone, not just to their desktop PC.