So, you took my advice a couple of weeks back and downloaded MSN Messenger 6 on to your PC, you’ve had a play around, added a number of friends to your contact list but now what? I’m not quite sure how I managed but I accidentally stumbled across the site which contains dozens of add ins and customisations for this fantastic little program. For those of you who are still somewhat unsure, MSN Messenger is a program that allows you chat to friends and even complete strangers over the Internet in either text, audio or audio/video conversations.

Most of the stuff on the add in site is ultimately useless but if you’ve got a few minutes to spare and use MSN Messenger on a regular basis then it is certainly worth checking out. For those of you who haven’t yet downloaded the latest version of Messenger head to and once installed, see what has in store for you.

We’ll start by a quick low down of the main features that you’ll find on the site :
- MSN 6 Skins – Microsoft Messenger 6 is completely customisable with ‘skins’ downloaded off the Internet which gives the program a new look depending on your mood. The add in site contains dozens of these to choose from.
- Messenger Plus – The site has the latest version of this utility which adds a number of useful features such as the ability to quickly hide MSN if your boss is on the prowl, 1110 character messages and the ability to check any e-mail account through Messenger rather than just the Hotmail checker that is built in as standard.
- Emoticon Packs – Microsoft Messenger supports additional add in ‘emoticons’ which allow you to use pictures to convey emotions (a smiley face to portray smiling for example). You can download additional ones free from here.
- Program Updates - The latest versions of MSN Messenger, as they’re released as well as any beta (pre release) versions of the software are posted to the site for all to download. In addition news about upcoming versions is also posted as it is discovered.

That’s pretty much it to be honest with you, although the site does offer a number of other features such as a comprehensive list of tips and tweaks which tell you how to alter MSN to how you really want it, screen name tools and various small utilities. A fun little area of the site that I found is a list of robots created that can be added to your MSN buddies list so that you can test out the AI of a number of computer generated ‘people’ by having real-time conversations with them; completely useless I know but it could help you while away a slow day in the office. The add ins section of the site includes dozens of files that can be downloaded to add to the original functionability of the MSN program such as messaging log generators, signing in as ‘appear offline’ and group blocking of people on your contact list.

It is important to stress that this is not a Microsoft certified site and that any files you download will most probably have been created by third party programmers and any news you read may not necessary be official or indeed correct. Having said that however, if you use this great little utility then, as I said at the beginning of the article, it certainly can’t hurt to try it out especially as it is completely free.

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