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Mess around

June 04, 2003 13:29 IST

Enhance your instant messenger with fun backgrounds, skins and emoticons

When we first started using instant messengers, we were quite content with what came with the package - a simple interface allowing us to chat and telling us which of our contacts are online. 

Over a period of time, designers and programmers, not happy with the 'plain Jane' look, have given this useful tool a makeover. So you might have a strange looking background with fishes when you are chatting with a Yahoo! contact, or a cool new icon to impress your friend.

Add-ons, skins, extras, patches, tricks and secrets compatible to jazz up popular instant messengers like MSN, Yahoo, AOL and ICQ are all available online.

Mess with MSN Messenger does exactly what the name suggests.  'Dwergs''set up this Belgium site two years ago on his student web-space with a free domain. He later bought the domain ''.

The site has no formal agreements with Microsoft, but is allowed to come up with new tools and add-ons approved by the company. According to Timothy, one of the administrators of the, they have good contacts with, Microsoft's official site on tweaking the upcoming version of their messenger, MSN 6.

The site has lots of skins, tools those let you log in with multiple accounts, emoticons and other pieces of art you can send friends, add-ons, chat bots, answering machine that answers messages for you when you are away.

Webtech is a vast pool of add-ons covering almost all those popular messengers.  For the MSN 6, it has backgrounds, modes and emoticons.  For the existing MSN 5, the site offers emoticons, skins, modes and window patches etc.  Also find ICQ, Aim and Yahoo! emoticons not available in the standard interface. 

Starkabel provides links to a host of sites across the world in various languages catering to the MSN community. MSN Plus is the software that adds a Plus tool to your messenger interface. This freeware offers you chat logging, boss protection, messenger locking, text recall, personalised status, POP mail and more.

Status Check tells you whether a messenger contact has actually blocked you. The site is compatible with MSN, Yahoo!, ICQ, Trillian and AOL.

SkinStop offers a vast directory of Yahoo skins covering various themes.  For more skins, IMVs, scrawling text and smileys there is WackybICQ Plus is for ICQ users who want trendy skins. Proboards 2 is a forum for MSN messenger users where geeks, professionals and amateurs share their inventions and discuss their common passion.

So, here's happy messing around!

More Resources

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