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Yahoo! Messenger

Introducing Message History for Yahoo! Messenger.

Yahoo! Messenger for the Web (beta) has just launched and includes an exciting new feature: Message History. The feature, which is available in select versions of the product, saves IM conversations from your Yahoo! account onto our Yahoo! servers.

You can now access and search your message history from any computer -- just like email. Whether or not you use this feature, your IM friends can also use it to save conversations together into their Yahoo! accounts.

Yahoo! Messenger allows you to exchange instant messages, send and receive webcam video, and make PC-to-PC voice calls with your online friends. You must be a registered Yahoo! user in order to use Yahoo! Messenger. Yahoo! Messenger establishes a connection to the Internet when it is active -- much like a browser does -- in order for communications to be received and transmitted.

Information Collection and Use Practices and Your Ability to Update or Delete Information

  • Yahoo! Messenger automatically checks for updates to Yahoo! software.
  • You can establish a messenger list within Messenger and be added as a friend to other user’s messenger lists.
  • By default, your online status, display image and nickname will be visible to other Messenger users who you instant message with or who have you on their messenger list
  • You can choose to appear offline by signing in as “invisible”.
  • You can selectively appear online or offline to specific friends or groups of friends on Messenger using the Stealth Settings option.
  • You can choose to appear offline and block a user from sending you messages using the “ignore” option.
  • You have certain choices about whether to add friends, be added as a friend, or ignore other members. Adding someone to your ignore list will also ignore PC-to-PC calls and related voice messages from that person.
  • By default any other member using Messenger may send you PC-to-PC calls. You can change your preferences so that you only receive calls from members on your friends list.
  • Yahoo! allows users to save and/or print messages so that they may retain records of their instant messaging communications.
  • By default, Yahoo! Messenger will archive your message history for the current session, until you sign out. When that session ends, the message archive will be deleted.
  • To change your archiving preferences in Messenger, choose Messenger > Preferences > Archive.
  • Changing your archiving preferences does not clear your current archive. For example, if you previously archived all messages indefinitely and change your preference to save messages until you sign out, then you will need to press the Clear Archive Now button for your previous archive to be cleared or you may delete archived messages individually by selecting the message, and clicking on “Delete”. However, this does not delete any of your messages saved by other users..
  • Please be aware that even if you choose not to save your message history, members you correspond with may opt to use the functionality available in their version of Messenger to save the communications. Also note that some versions of Yahoo! Messenger allow other users to save their conversations with you to their account on Yahoo! servers, just like email.
  • Yahoo! does not save PC-to-PC calls and other voice communications that go through our servers however the voice mails you record for other members are stored on Yahoo! servers. Yahoo!'s practice is to not use the content of those voice mail messages.
  • Messenger stores a PC-to-PC call history on your computer.
  • Messenger gives you the opportunity to report instant messages you receive as spam. If you choose to report spam, Yahoo! will be sent information about the conversation including the Yahoo! ID of the member being reported, text of the conversation, and your Yahoo! ID.
  • Messenger automatically identifies phone numbers and email addresses included in messages so you can quickly save them to your Yahoo! Address Book or take other actions, such as sending an email. This is a function carried out by the Messenger client on your computer and is not done by Yahoo! servers. However, your Yahoo! Address Book is saved on Yahoo! servers.
  • When you invite someone to use Messenger using our form (as opposed to add someone as a friend to your friend list), you will need to provide that person's email address and a message (optional). Information collected on that form will only be used to send an email on your behalf and will not be used for any marketing purposes.

Information Sharing and Disclosure Practices

  • PC-to-PC calls go through Yahoo! servers or use peer-to-peer connections. When you place a call, Yahoo! may record usage information, including frequency of use and call duration. In addition, Yahoo! may use aggregate usage information for future product enhancements and for research purposes.
  • By using Messenger, you may choose to make some of your personal information public or you may choose to share some of your personal information with others.
  • If you post personal information online that is accessible to the public, you may receive unsolicited messages from other parties in return.
  • Messenger sometimes uses a peer-to-peer connection during its operation, including times when you may be using it for instant messaging (text conversations), file sharing, PC-to-PC calling and webcam streaming. Peer-to-peer means that your computer connects directly to the other user's computer in the conversation without needing to go through Yahoo! servers. As such, your IP address is available to users you share a peer-to-peer connection with.

Practices Regarding Your Ability to Update or Delete Information

  • You can edit your Messenger settings and preferences through the Messenger menu.
  • You can review and delete the PC-to-PC call history or PC-to-PC voice messages in Messenger by choosing Contacts > Voice Messages & Call History.


This page describes current Yahoo! practices with respect to this particular service. This information may change as Yahoo! revises this service by adding or removing features or using different service providers. To find out how Yahoo! treats your personal information, please visit our Privacy Policy.

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