Linking Your Facebook Account on Yahoo!

Last week Yahoo! announced that we’re working to integrate Facebook features across our network. I wanted to share some of the implementation details so that developers understand what we’re working on. We're thrilled about the work that's underway.

Facebook Connect on Yahoo!

First off, I want to take the opportunity to clarify some misperceptions that we’ve noticed: the Facebook deal is not a “login” agreement. It will not be possible to sign in to Yahoo! with a Facebook ID. Rather, we’re using Facebook Connect to enable Yahoo! users to authorize data sharing between the sites. With this agreement, logged-in Yahoo! users will be able to bring the social stream that’s relevant to them on Facebook into their Yahoo! account and to publish their social activities on Yahoo! (e.g., Flickr photo uploads, article comments, etc.) to Facebook.

This is all great for our users. The Yahoo! ID becomes a single key that allows users to check their mail, their news, and their Facebook newsfeed all on Yahoo!, as part of their Yahoo! account. It makes their Yahoo! ID and login a powerful access token to the best of the web. And it’s a natural partnership – 52% of Yahoo! users visit Facebook and 84% of Facebook users visit Yahoo! (comScore, US, Oct 2009).

Yahoo! Open Strategy

This integration aligns with how we think about ID at Yahoo!. As part of the Yahoo! Open Strategy (YOS), we are building out an infrastructure that lets your Yahoo! ID be a key not just to Yahoo! and Facebook Connect data, but also to other social networks and all kinds of relevant content and services. Stay tuned for more to come.

Yahoo! and Open ID

The more value users get from a Yahoo! ID, the more comfortable they are using it as a login and authorization mechanism across the web. We are committed to OpenID and the OpenID Foundation. We believe that making a Yahoo! ID useful across the whole web benefits everyone. Web publishers can leverage one of the most trusted, widely used online IDs in the world, without having to invest in their own costly membership operation. There are over 600 million regular Yahoo! users and ComScore overlap hovers around 80% for most sites on the web.

We continue to innovate on OpenID and work closely with the community on making the technology secure, reliable, and most important of all--easy for ordinary users to understand and use. (Yes, we’re actively working to take the “geek” out of OpenID!) . Check out some of our recent announcements on Hybrid Auth and Attribute Exchange , in case you missed them, as well as some recent notable Yahoo! ID integrations with Meebo, JanRain, Gigya, Disqus, JS-Kit, and others.

Stay tuned for more news on this front. For now, we’ve opened the doors for two of the Internet’s largest communities to share and stay connected more easily. We continue to build and innovate on the core technologies of the open web: OpenID, OAuth, OpenSocial, and standards yet to be defined.

Daniel Raffel
Senior Product Manager
Yahoo! Open Strategy