Yahoo! Says No To Facebook, Google Sign-Ins

This story has been updated from 11:42 am EST to include news that Yahoo! acquired Vizify.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Yahoo! (YHOO) is sending a message to its users: we want you on our platform, not theirs.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Internet portal will be doing away with letting users sign in for various services with their Facebook (FB) or Google (GOOG) account information, as reported by Reuters and confirmed by TheStreet.

Those services include Yahoo! Fantasy Sports and its photo-sharing site Flickr. Users will be required to register for or sign in using their Yahoo ID.

"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," according to a company statement.

The company plans to gradually roll out the change across its platforms and services, spokeswoman Lauren Whitehouse wrote in an email.

The updated sign-in process will provide a streamlined sign-in experience; a single account and password for all Yahoo products, across devices; faster customer support and account assistance and easier password recovery, Whitehouse notes. The sign-in buttons for Facebook and Google will eventually be removed from the user experience.

The first service to require a Yahoo! user ID will be Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick'Em, a service focused on this month's NCAA college basketball tournament. The change will be effective on Monday, Reuters noted.

The elimination of third-party sign-in features would reverse an initiative Yahoo implemented in 2010 and 2011 under then CEO Carol Bartz.

Since current CEO Marissa Mayer took over in 2012, Yahoo! has refreshed several key services including Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Finance. Last year, the company said it planned to recycle Yahoo user IDs that were inactive for more than 12 months, allowing new users to claim the email addresses.

In other Yahoo! news, the company is acquiring Vizify, a platform launched in June 2011 that turns users' social media data into "interactive videos, infographics and more," according to Vizify's Web site,. Vizify said that the service would be shut down and paying subscribers would be refunded.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Yahoo! said in a statement that: "We have found in Vizify a company that shares our passion for visualization technology and the user experience. The team of five has joined Yahoo's media product organization in San Francisco."

Yahoo! shares were falling 0.25% to $39.53 on Wednesday.

--Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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