Yahoo! Opens Write Access to Contacts API

At Yahoo!, we’re committed to web-wide data portability. We strongly believe that the next big idea may very well be the result of collaboration between Yahoo! and the developer community, which is constantly building with the variety of web services platforms out there. We offer open access to a broad range of services including Flickr, YQL, YUI, Traffic Server, Hadoop, etc., with the goal of facilitating web-wide innovation.

One of our recent contributions to the open movement is an enhanced version of our Contacts API which offers sanctioned access to the data users have stored in their Yahoo! Contacts through services like Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Messenger etc. The API uses the OAuth protocol to get the user’s permission before providing access to any data and to handle transactions consistently with web standards for privacy and security. We believe that enabling portability of Contacts data is a key element of web interoperability and it benefits not just the user but also allows numerous web applications to port in social relationships to their site and increase virality.

To date, although read access to Contacts API has been open for all, write access had been granted only on a case-by-case basis. Today, we’re pleased to announce that write access to the API is now open to all developers on a self-serve basis. If you want to build an application that writes data back to Yahoo! Contacts, sign up for an API key with the ‘Yahoo! Contacts Read/Write’ access scope. Take a moment to review the API terms of use.

Please note that access to Yahoo! Contacts by any method other than the Contacts API is no longer acceptable. In the coming weeks, we will begin new efforts to prevent unsanctioned access to Yahoo! Contacts. For example, to help prevent unauthorized screen scraping, we will introduce a CAPTCHA on the Yahoo! Contacts export page.

Getting started on the Contacts API is easy – you can integrate with the API directly, or use one of our Software Development Kits. If you need access to the API for commercial purposes, please email us for assistance with your request.

As always, we look forward to seeing what new things are possible with your creativity and our open web services. Palm Pixi’s Synergy application already uses Contacts API to provide access to Yahoo! Contacts while you’re on the go. We hope to see more innovative apps and integrations in the future.