Over the past year, Yahoo has been working hard to regain their spot at the top of the internet food chain. It hasn’t been going so well but they keep trying. They created colorful new native ads and they recently began testing new options for mobile advertising. Today, they took another big step and this is one that could either make them or crush them – they decided to remove the Facebook and Google log-in options from all of their sites.
One by one, Yahoo will start requiring users to create a Yahoo ID if they want to gain entrance. This includes several Fantasy Sports games and. . . wait for it. . . Flickr. It’s as if they’re trying to drive people away!
The roll out begins this month with Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick’Em, which is an online fantasy game surrounding the NCAA college basketball tournament.
Don’t think this is a huge move? It is.
According to Janrain, more than 91% of internet users encounter social log-ins and half use them to gain access to at least one site. I’ll bet you can guess which social log-in gets used most often.
That’s right, it’s our old friend Facebook.
Only 7% of people said they use a Yahoo ID to login to sites and that’s a slight decline from where they were in 2010. Microsoft lost the most ground and Twitter dropped a little as more people gave up the fight and clicked Facebook or Google.
Yahoo says the move will help them create a more personalized environment for users, which is true. But it won’t matter if people don’t login. Yahoo is betting that their content is enticing enough that people will gladly create another login just to get access. This might work for the fantasy sports games, but I can’t see it working for all of Yahoo’s properties. I guess if every photo you ever took is on Flickr, you won’t have a choice but a new user might just pass when they’re faced with a ‘Create New Account’ button.
I predict a lot of unhappy Yahoo users in the near future.
On a related note, Yahoo just bought social visualization company Vizify and their next step is to shut the site down. Sorry, I misspoke – they’ll be “sunsetting” the tool which includes sending refunds to all active members. If you were a premium member, you’ll be able to claim the website you built on the site. For everyone else, Vizify is working on a way to create a downloadable archive so you won’t lose everything you built.
Here’s what Vizify used to look like:
Say goodbye – it’s gone.
Oh Yahoo, I hope you know what you’re doing.