Yahoo will soon stop letting users access its online services, such as Flickr and Fantasy Sports, by signing-in with their Google or Facebook accounts. A Yahoo spokeswoman said this change will be rolled out gradually, and will require users to have a registered Yahoo ID to access its services.
Yahoo’s sign in page currently allows users to sign in using their Facebook or Google accounts, but these options could be going away soon.
Betanews first reported the sign-in change for Yahoo Fantasy Sports. “In March, Yahoo Fantasy will begin asking everyone to sign in with a Yahoo username to access their teams, rosters, brackets and more. Eventually Facebook and Google sign-in options will be removed”, Yahoo said.
While Yahoo says this is a move to provide a better experience for their users, it also allows them to collect user data and track their activity across their services and websites.
This move isn’t risk free, however. Reuters’ Fred Katayama points out that by doing this, Yahoo “faces the risk that users won’t sign up and, say, ditch Flickr for another photo editing and sharing service such as Google’s Picassa or Google Photos.”
The decision to allow users to sign-in using Facebook and Google accounts was made by former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz in 2010. At the Web 2.0 Summit in November 2010, Bartz said that “One of the things we should have done long ago was take anyone’s login, Facebook or Google’s, allows easier for users and play in the ecosystem.” When questioned about creating a “Yahoo value added identity”, Bartz said, “We could do that. But right now challenge is we have so much data, siloed in sports, siloed elsewhere, for us to even get our own data in the grid, in the cloud. that’s one of the first things we need to do. We can worry about the steps you’re talking about when we get our own data house in order.”
Many have been viewing Mayer’s decision to remove these sign-in options as a reversal of Bartz’ strategy, but based on Bartz’ statements in 2010, it could actually be a continuation of the former CEO’s policies.