Yahoo is doing away with the practice of allowing account holders to log in to their Yahoo accounts using their Facebook or Google personas instead of having to enter their dedicated Yahoo account credentials.
Reuters reported the changes March 4, and Yahoo confirmed them in an email response to an eWEEK inquiry March 5.
Under the new log-in system, users will no longer be able to use Yahoo services such as the Flickr photo-sharing site, Yahoo Fantasy Sports and other services without having to enter their actual Yahoo usernames and passwords, Reuters reported. In the past, users could access their Yahoo services accounts by entering through their Facebook or Google accounts.
"The move marks the latest change to Yahoo by Chief Executive Marissa Mayer, who is striving to spark fresh interest in the company's Web products and to revive its stagnant revenue," reported Reuters. "In eliminating the Facebook and Google sign-in features, Mayer, a former Google executive, is effectively reversing a strategy that Yahoo adopted in 2010 and 2011 under then-CEO Carol Bartz."
Lauren Whitehouse, a Yahoo spokeswoman, today confirmed the company's move.
"Yahoo is continually working on improving the user experience, which includes our sign-in process for Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick’Em," the company said in a statement released by Whitehouse. "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 is updating its sign-in process as part of the new strategy, according to Whitehouse, to provide a streamlined sign-in that will ask account holders to use a single account and password for the Yahoo services they want to access. That will also make it easier for Yahoo to provide faster customer support and account assistance and easier password recovery, she said.
"We are moving toward requiring all users to access our service with a Yahoo username over time," said Whitehouse. "Eventually, the sign-in buttons for Facebook and Google will be removed from all Yahoo properties. We are working to make this transition as seamless as possible for our users."
Rob Enderle, an IT analyst and principal of The Enderle Group, told eWEEK March 5 that he was surprised that it took this long for Yahoo to eliminate account sign-ins through other social media platforms.
By allowing users to sign in employing accounts from competitors, Yahoo was losing advertising revenue and end-user eyeballs that can only come when the users are entering through Yahoo's dedicated platform, said Enderle.
In addition, by allowing users to access Yahoo services employing Google or Facebook credentials, Yahoo was making its own IT systems less secure, said Enderle. "If they get compromised [in an online attack], then you get compromised, too," he said. "Having separate sign-ins is a higher level of security."
For Yahoo, it will be much more secure if the company maintains its own control over how their users access their Yahoo accounts, he said. "You really don't want to make it look like Facebook or Google own your future."
How users sign in to their accounts was also recently the subject of changes at Google. In November 2013, Google began to give all of its Google Apps sign-in pages the same look for consistency and security, eWEEK reported.