Yahoo Debuts Mail Search Features

    August 30, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Yahoo begins rolling out new mail search features to some of its users today, and plans to have it available to all in the coming months.

Drew Garcia has posted on the Yahoo search blog that new email search features will become available gradually to users of Yahoo Mail, with some users getting to test the new features today.

The rollout will happen over the next few months, as Yahoo goes through the process of making data contained in millions of mailboxes searchable.

“We are rolling out these features gradually to give us time to thumbnail the millions of photos and attachments and index the billions of messages Yahoo! Mail users around the world have accumulated (we’re talking about petabytes of data),” Mr. Garcia posted.

The email search will be able to sift through attachments as noted, and will perform prefix matching by default. That will be helpful for users who only recall the first few letters of a term they wish to locate.

Results returned by the query will be broken down into five categories. Users can use those categories to further narrow the results by sender, folder, date, attachments, and message status.

The indexing and thumbnailing Yahoo will perform lets people view search results for files as a group of thumbnails. Those results can be displayed with the Photo View or Attachment View feature.

That applies to other types of file attachments, so a search for attached spreadsheets will return a group of thumbnails of those type of files. And result sets can be further refined by the five categories listed earlier.

Yahoo held 35.1 percent of the world market with an estimated 219 million e-mail accounts in July, just behind Microsoft, which has 221 million Hotmail users, or 35.5 percent, according to comScore Media Metrix data.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.