Yahoo is turning to its “greatest competitor” to save its dying race. In the official blog, Andy Y Wu, the product manager of Yahoo Membership announced that they are opening third-party user authentication with Facebook and Google across the Yahoo Network. Henceforth, from now on, all those who have accounts in Google or Facebook would be able to sign into Yahoo and avail the services. This is a bold step from Yahoo and might help it regain some lost ground. Users who are redirected from Facebook or Google to Yahoo, are reluctant to login using another id and password, and can now login with the service they want.
And guess what! Now you can chat with your friends and post question on yahoo answer community without having an id on the server. Spending time on creating an id, remembering the password and all other password recovery details… these are basically hazards. Instead the new feature would let you sign with Facebook or Google Ids. On their part, Yahoo authorities have made it clear that whether a user signs in by using his stable yahoo id or via third party authentication service, there won’t be any discrepancy in the services offered by them.
Generally, the kinds of services that most users avail are commenting on news articles, playing sports sponsored by the site along with sharing and commenting on photos on Flickr. Since both Google and Facebook have large number of users, Yahoo will surely get lots of new visitors. In the blog, Wu mentioned that in October 2010, Yahoo provided users with Google IDs to access Flickr, one of their products. But it wasn’t that user-friendly, so they had to come up with something new and something more interesting.
Wu sounds optimist about this new facility and says, “Our goal is to make it extremely simple and transparent for anyone to authenticate and engage with Yahoo! with an online identity that they already have.” However, he also speaks of the potential challenges — this new feature won’t support signing into mobile or desktop clients using Facebook or Google ids. But Wu expressed his hope that soon the developer team will appear with more upgrades.
Yahoo, instead of fighting with Facebook and Google, is accepting their superiority and using their audience to its benefit. MySpace was also competing in the race to be the face of the internet with Facebook, Google and Yahoo, but has accepted defeat already. Now , Yahoo is also leaving the race. This leaves Facebook and Google to compete for the spot of the defacto internet identity provider.
Google with Gmail, its array of services and its rumoured Google +1, and Facebook with its Open Graph, Like button and Instant Personalization, are rearing to take the fight to the next level. As for Yahoo, this step might just turn their fortune.