Yahoo Unfriends Facebook, Google Sign-InYahoo drops third-party logins, will soon require Yahoo IDs.
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If you use your Google or Facebook credentials to sign into Yahoo services, you'll soon be out of luck: The company said it will end this process and require everyone to use a Yahoo ID instead.
"Yahoo is continually working on improving the user experience," a Yahoo spokesperson said in a statement. "This new process, which now asks users to sign in with a Yahoo username, will allow us to offer the best personalized experience to everyone."
Yahoo will make the change gradually, and has already begun with Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick 'Em, a service for college basketball fans, just in time for March Madness. Other popular Yahoo services on deck include photo-sharing site Flickr and Fantasy Sports. Yahoo did not provide a timetable for when these and its other Web properties would make the switch.
[Some Yahoo users got more than they bargained for. Read Yahoo Recycled Emails: Users Find Security Surprises.]
Former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz opened Yahoo services to people using third-party credentials in 2011 to tap into competitors' enormous user bases with hopes of increasing traffic to the company's own sites. Current Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer's reversal of this sends a clear message: Yahoo plans to focus on personalization to improve user experience, and ultimately, advertising.
That message has rung true in a number of changes Meyer has seen through since she joined Yahoo in 2012. In the last two years, the company has launched redesigns of Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Finance. It also announced a number of acquisitions and initiatives at CES, including news summary app Yahoo News Digest, image-heavy websites Yahoo Tech and Yahoo Food, and reworked advertising offerings.
Yahoo also launched a controversial recycled email program last year, which reassigned Yahoo IDs that had been dormant for more than a year. Recipients of these recycled email addresses reported receiving personal messages -- such as phone bills, bank account statements, and social network login information -- intended for the former email account holder. Yahoo later launched a Not My Email button to return such email.
Because Yahoo will soon require all users to sign in with a Yahoo ID, you have two options: You can sign up for a new one on its main login page or you can attempt to revive an old login you may have once had.
If you discover that your old Yahoo username was recycled, you can still try to claim it. Visit watchlist.yahoo.com, where you can enter up to five Yahoo usernames. Be sure to enter your former username in the top spot. If no one has claimed your old login, Yahoo will reassign it to you. If someone has claimed it, you're out of luck. Yahoo will place you on a wait list for three years should the current user abandon it. Yahoo will charge you $1.99 for this service.
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Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio