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Power to the people: Introducing better ways to compose mail and view contacts

Your inbox isn’t simply about messages, it’s about the people that you email. So today, we’re announcing two big improvements in how you view and reach out to friends, family and colleagues in Yahoo Mail.

Note: The improvements we are announcing below have begun rolling out to millions of users starting today. For those who are not yet seeing the upgraded features in their webmail interface, you can get to the top of the upgrade list here.

The first big improvement comes when composing email. Now when you start typing in the to, cc or bcc lines, you’ll see the following dramatic improvements:

  • All email addresses at your fingertips: We’ve all become accustomed to our inbox remembering email addresses we’ve used in the past and auto-suggesting them when we type, even if we didn’t add the information to our address books. Yahoo Mail has taken this feature one step further. Now, Yahoo Mail remembers every email address you’ve ever used or even seen in your inbox, and suggests the best one to use. There are even new ways to find people: just enter the first few characters of someone’s name, email address, initials, or even their company or school name and Mail will instantly suggest the best person.

  • Photos and Names: Now instead of free2rhyme@yahoo.com you’ll see the full name and photo of the person you are emailing more often - making it easier to make sure you’re emailing the right person. Photos are shown from Facebook and Yahoo Profiles.  To see as many photos as possible, be sure to link your Yahoo account to Facebook.

  • Picking the right group of people for your email: When you want to send an email to more than one person, the new smart auto-suggest will instantly suggest the three most likely recipients (and their best email address) based on your previous emails. Auto-suggest is constantly learning and improving. For many emails, you should be able to add everyone you need to an email without typing another letter after the first recipient is selected.

To get even more out of the new auto-suggest, save time by just hitting the down arrow before you type a letter and we’ll show six top contacts from which to choose. Of course, if you ever see an email address you’d prefer to hide, just click on the “X” to the right of the suggestion.

Next up, we’re now surfacing more details about your contacts by giving you a quick snapshot of your most recent interactions with someone. So if you’ve had a long email thread with a friend about an upcoming vacation, simply navigate over to your contacts and select your friend’s name to quickly see the latest emails and attachments they’ve sent you about the trip.

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This feature is rolling out to U.S. webmail users over the next day or so.  

We’re excited to be leveraging technology from Xobni, which Yahoo acquired last year, to power these two new features. To help us improve your experience even more in the future, please let us know what you think!

By Josh Jacobson, Product Manager, Yahoo Contacts