Yahoo Does Social Data U-Turn — Will Be Ditching Google & Facebook Sign-Ins For All Products

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Yahoo is planning to push users of its online services to register for a Yahoo ID to access its services — and will be removing the extant option for users to sign in with Google or Facebook credentials.

Noting the change earlier, Reuters reports that the shutting out of rival services’ sign-ins will be a gradual one — starting with Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick’Em, a fantasy sports team service focused on the NCAA college basketball tournament.

This service already requires users to register for/have a Yahoo ID to gain access. But Yahoo’s plans here are grand, not incremental — with a spokeswoman confirming it will eventually be removing all Google and Facebook sign-in buttons for all Yahoo properties. Albeit, it’s not putting a timeline on that social data reclamation.

“Yahoo is continually working on improving the user experience, which includes our sign-in process for Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick’Em. 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,” the company said in a statement.

Reuters notes this is effectively reversal of the strategy Yahoo adopted under former CEO Carol Bartz back in 2010/2011. Yahoo actually signed up to Facebook Connect at the end of 2009.

Bottom line: current CEO Marissa Mayer, who came to Yahoo from Google, understands the value of access to social data. And is presumably confident that Yahoo can attract users to its current and future services without offering a low-friction Facebook sign-in. (No pressure, Pogue.)

Or at least she’s willing to sacrifice a portion of users in order that Yahoo can take back control of more of its own user data.