Guidelines for Using the Yahoo Messenger IM SDK

Terms of Use

Please note that the Yahoo Messenger IM SDK are governed by the Yahoo Messenger IM SDK Terms of Use. By using the Yahoo Messenger IM SDK, you agree to the terms as specified in this document.

Required Display of Yahoo Updates

All applications that use the Yahoo Messenger IM SDK must display social update events in their application’s UI. In addition, Yahoo Messenger client applications that generate activity to social networks must also provide the option to publish to Yahoo via Yahoo Updates.

Social update events allow users to know what their contacts are doing on Yahoo sites and throughout the Internet. For example, a user’s contacts may have written a restaurant review on Yahoo Local. A short snippet of this restaurant review will be published to all contacts of this user in the contact’s social update stream. Viewers of this update can click on the update to see the full restaurant review. Yahoo publishes update streams throughout Yahoo sites, including, Yahoo Mail, and Yahoo Messenger.

In order to display Yahoo Updates, developers should use the Yahoo Query Language YQL is an expressive SQL-like language that lets developers query, filter and join Yahoo user data across web services. Applications should perform a SELECT on the social.relationships API or social.relationships.updates API to obtain a user contact’s updates.

In order to use the social.relationships API and social.relationships.update API, developers will be required to submit a user’s Yahoo GUID. The Yahoo Messenger IM SDK does not return the users Yahoo GUID as part of the service. In order to transform a user’s Yahoo ID to a Yahoo GUID, the application should use the yahoo.identity API in YQL.

When possible, applications must produce social update events for the user. To produce an update event for a user, the application should perform an INSERT on the social.updates API.

The following limits apply to YQL:

  • A per-application limit (as identified by your Access Key): 100,000 calls per day
  • Per IP limits: /v1/public/*: 1,000 calls per hour; /v1/yql/*: 10,000 calls per hour

Limits of Use

Applications can freely use the Yahoo Messenger IM SDK for up to 5,000 daily unique users. If an application exceeds 5,000 daily users, you (the developer) will be notified through email and may be asked to enter into a commercial agreement with Yahoo. A commercial agreement may require the developer to:

  • Furnish platform and OS data. You may be asked to provide Yahoo information on the platforms, operating systems, or in the case of mobile applications, the mobile devices their service is running on. The developer may also be asked to provide the number of users on each platform, operating system and device.
  • Include additional feature requirement in the product. You may be asked to include other Yahoo related feature requirements in their application. Such feature requirements would be based on services that Yahoo provides.
  • Enter into a profit sharing arrangement. If the application is a commercial application, the commercial agreement may require a profit sharing arrangement between you and Yahoo
Where the Yahoo Messenger IM SDK can be used

The Yahoo Messenger IM SDK can be used worldwide except for: (1) residents of the United States and Canada and/or (2) sites or applications directed to users in the United States or Canada.

Failure to Comply with Requirements

Yahoo reserves the right to terminate your application’s access to the Yahoo Messenger IM SDK until such time as you and Yahoo can agree upon whether your client complies with the feature requirements and daily user limit.

Yahoo Messenger Logos

Only approved Yahoo Messenger logos and images are allowed on clients that use the Yahoo Messenger IM SDK. Marketing materials that promote a Yahoo Messenger client must also use approved logos and images. Approved images for use are shown below.

Yahoo Messenger Logo

The Yahoo Messenger logo is the primary logo. The logo must be always legible and easily identifiable as logotype. There should never be any other logos included in the Yahoo application, or in cases of multi-headed clients, never in Yahoo designated screens within the client. The following figure shows the proper font, spacing, and alignment for the Yahoo Messenger logo.

Yahoo Messenger Logo for Dark Backgrounds

If the Yahoo Messenger logo is being used on a dark background, the image shown in the following figure should be used.

Yahoo Logo

The Yahoo logo may be used to represent Yahoo throughout the Messenger application.


The Yahoo Smiley image, shown in the following figure, can be used in the Yahoo Messenger product. The Smiley image should always be used in conjunction with the Yahoo Messenger logo.

Color Palette

The Yahoo Messenger Color Palette is distinctive. The proper color palette should be used throughout the application at all time. The following four colors represent the Yahoo Messenger Color Palette.

Color Pantone CMYK RGB Hex
Purple Yahoo Purple 77,89,0,0 123,0,153 0x780099
Black Black 0,0,0,100 0,0,0 0x000000
White White 0,0,0,0 255,255,255 0xFFFFFF
Yahoo Gray PMS Cool Gray 11 0,2,0,68 84,84,84 0x545454

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