Don't Want to Sign In to Yahoo? That's Okay, Use Your Facebook or Google ID.
Yahoo this week will begin allowing users to participate on its properties without signing in to a Yahoo account. It’s a significant move for the company, which had for a long time incessantly popped up login screens (as pictured) whenever visitors tried to do seemingly anything on the site.
Now, users will be able to share articles, leave comments and play fantasy sports on Yahoo by signing in to accounts they’ve created on Facebook and Google. They won’t have to create a Yahoo profile or associate their Facebook or Google ID with an existing Yahoo one (though a Yahoo account is being created in the background that’s associated with the other site’s credentials).
Other properties included in the new login regime (or lack of a regime) are Yahoo! Finance, as well as pages for users to rate movies, music and restaurants. (Obviously for some properties, like Yahoo! Mail, users will still need to plug in Yahoo-specific credentials to create a full-fledged Yahoo ID.)
The beleaguered company is playing this as a move toward openness. And there is some precedent for the move. Yahoo had previously allowed users to log in to Flickr using OpenID logins from Google, and had partnered with Facebook to give users an option, through Facebook Connect, to integrate their accounts on the two sites and send information back and forth between them.
But this latest announcement is different from Facebook Connect; what Yahoo is now offering is a wholesale substitution of another site’s account system. Yahoo for a long time had the coveted advantage as a Web portal of having a large percentage of its visitors logged in at all times to a consistent account across all its properties; that doesn’t seem to be a top priority for the company anymore.