Yahoo Removes Facebook and Google Log-in for Users

Yahoo has decided to no longer accept Facebook or Google log-in credentials which might send some of its customers elsewhere.

Mar 8, 2014 at 10:53AM

Yahoo(NASDAQ: YHOO) has decided to stop allowing customers to access its services, including the Flickr photo-sharing platform, by using Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) or Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) log-in credentials. Instead the company will require anyone who wants to use products like its suite of fantasy sports games to create a Yahoo ID.

"Yahoo is continually working on improving the user experience," the company said in a statement Reuters reported, noting that the new process "will allow us to offer the best personalized experience to everyone."

The new forced Yahoo log-in is already in place on the company's College Basketball Tourney Pick'em game, which is tied to the upcoming NCAA men's basketball tournament. On that site the Facebook and Google account log-in buttons are still there. But after customers enter their log-in, they are brought to a page that says "The Google ID you entered is not associated with a Yahoo account. To continue, you now need to create a Yahoo account."

Yahoo owns a lot of content

One of the key tasks facing relatively new Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer is reinvigorating the company's advertising base. Part of her strategy has been refreshing a number of products including Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Finance. She has also led an overhaul of a number of apps, launched content sites covering technology and food, and hired Katie Couric as lead news anchor.

Not all of those content platforms require a log-in but most offer services that do.

Tumblr users may not be happy with Yahoo

Under Mayer Yahoo also bought Tumblr, whose change-resistant user base might not react well to the log-in change. Tumblr currently has its own proprietary log-in and Yahoo has not commented on whether it will require the brand -- which it owns but runs separately -- to make the change.

When it announced the acquisition, Yahoo's press release was headlined, "Yahoo to acquire Tumblr" with the tongue-in-cheek subhead, "Promises not to screw it up." 

"Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business. David Karp will remain CEO. The product, service, and brand will continue to be defined and developed separately with the same Tumblr irreverence, wit, and commitment to empower creators," said the press release.

And while a changed log-in wouldn't amount to "screwing it up," it could be seen that way by the site's hundreds of millions of monthly users.

Yahoo's move makes sense, but it's a risk

In eliminating a log-in method that shares data with competitors and installing one that creates proprietary data, Yahoo is working to improve its ability to deliver targeted ads. There is an inherent risk, however, that customers simply won't want to create a new log-in and will flee for services where they already have credentials.

Google and Facebook log-ins are a customer convenience. They let people access all sorts of sites without having to remember new passwords and user names. Convenience matters and some customers simply won't bother creating a new account with Yahoo just to play a fantasy basketball game (especially if they can play one someplace they already have an account).

"The world is increasingly moving to a model where one identity works across a plethora of disparate solutions – this decision is several steps backwards and does nothing to make Yahoo look like it's learning anything from all those cool start-ups they keep acquiring," Ben Kepes wrote on Fortune.com.

Encouraging customers to create a Yahoo ID and even providing incentives for them to do so makes sense. Forcing them to do it is a bad idea that could backfire and send some users away from Yahoo's sites -- at least those that require log-in. As much as Yahoo wants to collect its own data -- which is a good idea -- it should not prioritize that over the convenience of its customers.

Yahoo would do well to remember that the Internet is not a store that customers invested time and effort in visiting. Instead -- with the next store just a click away -- minor missteps in customer service can have huge negative results. (Think Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) misstep and apology over not including Google Maps in its 2012 iOS update). Making doing business with you harder for your customers is always a bad idea and Mayer should consider dropping this strategy before she scares too many people away.

The Internet of Things

Let's face it, every investor wants to get in on revolutionary ideas before they hit it big. Like buying PC-maker Dell in the late 1980s, before the consumer computing boom. Or purchasing stock in e-commerce pioneer Amazon.com in the late 1990s, when it was nothing more than an upstart online bookstore. The problem is, most investors don't understand the key to investing in hyper-growth markets. The real trick is to find a small-cap "pure-play" and then watch as it grows in EXPLOSIVE lockstep with its industry. Our expert team of equity analysts has identified one stock that's poised to produce rocket-ship returns with the next $14.4 TRILLION industry. Click here to get the full story in this eye-opening report.

Daniel Kline has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Facebook, Google, and Yahoo!. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Facebook, and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.


Compare Brokers