Yahoo to Disable Alternative Sign-in Options

In an effort to resurrect Yahoo ID, Yahoo will be phasing out the ability to log in to its services through Google and Facebook accounts.

Visitors to Yahoo sites, including Flickr and Fantasy Sports, will soon be required to sign in with a Yahoo ID. On Monday, the change took effect on "Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick `Em," a fantasy college basketball service, and the company said it will gradually be implemented on all Yahoo properties. Requiring a Yahoo name and password could help the company gain more insight on its 800 million monthly visitors though it is likely that the company will lose some users over the change. Yahoo risks losing millions of users either who won't bother to take the time to create a new account or those who simply don't trust the company to handle their data. The change may also deter new users. The move is a setback for Google and Facebook who have expanded their log-in tools to simplify the concept of online identity in exchange for data about user activities from other sites. The ability to sign in using Facebook on Yahoo has been in place since 2009.

Yahoo claims that these changes are part of restructuring Yahoo into a "personalization company." Chief Executive Marissa Mayer has been working on restructuring the company's most popular sites to match each user's tastes and interests. By controlling log-ins, Yahoo may be able to control these personalized experiences more. "We're continuing to work on improving the user experience and that does include the sign-in process," said a Yahoo spokeswoman on the change. "The intent is to let us offer the best personalized experience for everyone."

Photo credit: screengrab