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March 29, 2007

API for Yahoo Mail

Yahoo launched a web service for Yahoo Mail that will allow developers to build applications around users' mail accounts.
We are thrilled to announce the open availability of the Yahoo! Mail Web Service, web service for Yahoo! Mail (accessible via SOAP or JSON-RPC) that we previewed to Yahoo! Hack Day attendees. With the Yahoo! Mail Web Service, you can connect to the core mail platform to perform typical mailbox tasks for premium users such as list messages and folders, and compose and send messages (you can also build mail preview tools for free users with limited Web Service functionality). In other words, developers outside of Yahoo! can now build mail tools or applications on the same infrastructure we use to build the highly-scaled Yahoo! Mail service that serves nearly 250 million Yahoo! Mail users today.

Unfortunately, most of the applications that use the new API will be available only to Yahoo Mail Plus users. But the developers have a reason to be happy: if they build something exciting enough to convince users to pay for Yahoo Mail Plus, they'll get $10 for each user.

A simple example that works with any Yahoo Mail account is Flickr Association that displays Flikr images related to your messages.

9 comments:

  1. Why is Google's homepage showing "Maps" and "New"?

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  2. Maybe in the UK, where Google Maps has been just added to the homepage.

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  3. So much fuss about API for PLUS users? I don't know how many of them are there. Has to be substantial otherwise why would yahoo invest time and money on just a bunch.
    To me this is totally useless. Gmail is steadily catching up and its all free. Yahoo's free e-mail service is also good enough. I think people were expecting this API to enable IMAP or POP access for all users. Just by building applications around e-mail, are they expecting more paid users?

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  4. The API isn't for Plus users only. Free users can use the service, although they're limited in terms of what they can do. Plus users have unrestricted access to do anything they want.

    Ryan Kennedy
    Yahoo! Mail Web Service

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  5. Thanks Ryan. I saw the documentation and the features are restricted to the following methods:

    ListFolders
    ListMessages
    DeleteMessages
    GetUserData
    BatchExecute
    CreateFolder
    FetchExternalMail
    RemoveFolder
    RenameFolder
    MoveMessages
    EmptyFolder

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  6. The most important method from that list is ListMessages, that "returns a list of messages for the specified user". Basically, you can only get the recent messages, obtain almost anything except the body of the message and manipulate the messages (delete them, move them to a folder etc.)

    For the free accounts, you can't obtain search results, get the full messages and their attachments, compose mail.

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  7. To me this is totally useless. Gmail is steadily catching up and its all free. Yahoo's free e-mail service is also good enough. I think people were expecting this API to enable IMAP or POP access for all users. Just by building applications around e-mail, are they expecting more paid users?

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  8. What an alternative to simply providing POP ! Now I got to wait for a thunderbird extension to be made to retrieve mail from Y!

    Reasons for Microsoft to provide addons in Outlook 07 ?

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  9. The new Yahoo.com mail beta "sucks".........there are so many reasons that I am going to cancel my account........I want the old Yahoo mail back.....why ruin a perfectly good system...other than trying to stuff more ads into the display???

    Yahoo........are you listening>?

    dj murphy

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