I am a long-time user of Yahoo! services, having signed up for a Yahoo! email account while I was in high school, and really, all I can do is look at the company and ruefully shake my head at this point. And now, Yahoo! intends to annoy you into joining the company’s ranks.
Essentially, from now on, if you want to use Yahoo! services, you’ll need to have a Yahoo! ID. How serious is Yahoo! about this? Serious to the point of cutting off Facebook and Google login services, according to CNET:
“Yahoo is continually working on improving the user experience, which includes our sign-in process for Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick’Em,” a Yahoo spokesperson told CNET. “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.”
Translation: “We’re sick of giving the people who are slowly murdering us through attrition data they can use to keep slowly murdering us.” Which is fair, absolutely, but by the same token, it’s hard to see this ending well for Yahoo!
Over the last few years, the Internet has begun to balkanize in ways that are incredibly annoying. About five years ago, all you’d hear about is the idea of creating one unified identity where people could seamlessly cross websites and email accounts without ever having to log in. Now, we’ve got companies building walled gardens like AOL was somehow right all along.
It’s fair to point out that the major Internet service sites online are private businesses, and will do what’s in their interest first. But by the same token, there’s only so much you can force the customer to do. It seems likely that if you can’t use Yahoo! services by logging in the way you always have… you’ll just stop logging in. Yahoo! might want to get users to sign up for a Yahoo! ID… but they should note Google has been trying to force people to use Google+, and we all know how that worked out.