Yahoo is set to begin phasing out the ability to log in to its products through other services like Facebook and Google. Soon, to access sites like Flickr or fantasy sports services, a Yahoo ID will be required, although no exact timeframe has been given.
The move is seemingly the first direct move against its competitors. Yahoo, by no means a small company, has largely coasted on the massive userbase built up during its heyday a decade ago, while Google and Facebook have continued to grow and iterate noticeably faster.
Logging in through competing services—instituted before Marissa Mayer was appointed Yahoo's CEO in an attempt to turn the company around—offered an attractive prospect for both sides. For Yahoo, it allowed them to piggyback on Facebook or Google's existing userbase, since sign-up was less of a hassle if user's could take an advantage of a login they already possessed. For Facebook and Google, it allowed them to gather data from services other than their own.
Now, it appears that Yahoo is confident enough in its product line that it feels it can ask potential users to create a new login (the company began releasing dormant accounts for new registrants last year). As Mike Isaac at Recode infers, "the grand plan is to make Yahoo 'cool enough' that people will actually want to use a Yahoo ID consistently." It recently refreshed its mail and finance products, as well as Flickr.
There is no word on how Tumblr's enormous community fits into the equation, though if a Yahoo ID eventually becomes required, Tumblr users will probably respond with hysterical outrage, some GIFs of Benedict Cumberbatch, and then be cool with it three days later.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.