March 5 - Yahoo's move to require Yahoo IDs to access its services will allow the website to collect user data, but there's a risk customers won't sign on. Fred Katayama reports.
Fans of Yahoo sites like Flickr and Fantasy Sports will soon be blocked from signing in with their Facebook or Google IDs. The Internet portal will require users to have a Yahoo ID to access them. In her bid to revive the company, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is doing a 180 on the policy adopted by then CEO Carol Bartz that opened Yahoo's sites to Facebook and Google users. The company said in a statement that it's making the move to improve the user experience. But it's more than that. By making users register, Yahoo can collect user data and track their activity across its sites. Then again, the company faces the risk that users won't sign up and, say, ditch Flickr for another photo editing and sharing service such as Google's Picassa or Google Photos. Yahoo's stock, which is down two percent this year, rose slightly at the start of trade. Yahoo has already begun changing the sign-in process for its Tourney Pick'Em site. It will eventually remove its rivals' sign-in buttons from all its services.