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Summary:

What took them so long? Yahoo has finally figured out that the way to beat Google and others is through leveraging its two core and most important assets: My.Yahoo! and Yahoo! Mail. These are two services that make Yahoo universally recognizable and make it a daily […]

What took them so long? Yahoo has finally figured out that the way to beat Google and others is through leveraging its two core and most important assets: My.Yahoo! and Yahoo! Mail. These are two services that make Yahoo universally recognizable and make it a daily part of millions of lives.

Yahoo! Mail in particular acts a technological bond between the Sunnyvale-based company and hundreds of millions of its customers. Google can only dream of that direct relationship. By announcing unlimited storage for Yahoo! Mail, they have made the service more valuable, giving their web mail users a reason to stay inside the Yahoo mailbox longer. They have started to add new features – a feed reader, for instance – into their application.

What it shows is that the company is beginning to think of Yahoo Mail as a platform, leveraging cheap storage and a mega audience.

I think the other shoe is going to drop tomorrow when Yahoo in all likelihood is going to announce a Yahoo Mail API, which would open up the service to third party developers. (Here is the screencast!)

Chad Dickerson from Yahoo Developers’ Network semi-announced this today at the ETech conference, though he did not specify a day when it is going to be released, though our sources are pointing to tomorrow. What could this API do? We will have to wait and find out the details, but a good start would be an offline client, saving us from those screen-hogging ads that Yahoo serves up.

Since I am caffeine-deprived today, let me ask you, what would you do with a Yahoo Mail API?

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  1. If I had the time, I would make some sort of lite desktop client that kept a local copy of email for offline use, but synchronized with the Yahoo Mail service. This would allow me to have multiple computers with the same email, settings, etc and a web client as well. Ideally, this client would also make use of port 80 to send email via the Yahoo Mail service, so I wouldn’t have to worry as much about public access networks’ spam policies.

  2. Cheap Storage – One word: Better GSpace

    If the API is useful, I wouldn’t mind spending time developing a client that would let me do backups and store all the data in the Yahoo! mail servers. A 300GB hard disk (external) costs about $100-$150.
    I don’t like GSpace because even though the idea is right, the interface is crappy. Also, I haven’t tried testing it, but the limit is probably 2GB.

  3. Several things Yahoo Mail needs:

    • IMAP as a premium service
    • folders within folder support
    • tagging
    • ability to change the subject line of e-mails you have received
  4. Yahoo! introduced its Yahoo! Mail API at Yahoo! Hack Day last September. The service was launched on one group of servers (a “forest” by their terminology) and gradually expanding to cover Yahoo!’s 450 million webmail users.

    Yahoo! could announce full availability of the API across all possible server groups, or at least within one locality such as the United States.

  5. Isn’t this just a natural progression with Yahoo Mail set to be the push mail service for the Apple Phone?

  6. Litepost is designed in such a way so that it could possibly build/extend from a Yahoo API

  7. A client that runs on portable USB drives (such as PortableApps or U3 apps) would be very useful to me. I already use Thunderbird, but I still need to fire a browser to check my Yahoo! email.

  8. Yahoo mail stinks. No spam protection at all. I dont even use the (mail portion of the)account and its full of spam – in my inbox. The only reason i keep it is for yahoo groups, and i’ve had an account for over a decade. You would think i’d get some benifits with an account that old.

    Yahoo has to fix the spam before anybody takes them seriously, and reduce the junk in their offerings like messenger.

  9. Sundarlal Chuddha Wednesday, March 28, 2007

    With all the development going on inside email, it is amazing to me that both Google and Yehoo seem to be content on imposing 1995 standard contact managers on the email services.

  10. @ Niall, don’t you mean “farm”? :)

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