Every football-loving American knows that that the best platform for fantasy football is Yahoo’s. If you disagree and you use NFL.com’s or ESPN.com’s platform for your fantasy football, I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. Yahoo’s interface is easier, its iPhone app is better and the pages load faster and without noisy, auto-play ads. In order to use Yahoo’s fantasy football vehicle, though, you have to have a Yahoo ID. Well, that may not be the case next football season.
AllThingsD reports that Yahoo will soon begin to allow users to log in using their Facebook and (gasp!) Google accounts
. Gizmodo’s take on the situation is that Yahoo is simply giving up
, waving the white flag in a similar manner that MySpace did years ago. Yahoo was long considered one of the biggest, strongest, most important and most relevant Internet companies in the world. It was one of the few companies to survive the Dot-Com Bubble of the late 90s and was still going strong years later. In the past few years, though, Google’s dominance of the search space, Facebook’s dominance of the social space and Microsoft’s annexation of Yahoo’s paid search platform left very little for Yahoo to capitalize on aside from their display network (which has also lost ground to Google’s). The writing has been on the wall for some time and it seems that Yahoo’s best days are officially in the rear-view mirror.
In my opinion, the big news isn’t Yahoo’s retreat; that was a long time coming. It’s not even that Yahoo will allow accounts from its long time nemesis, Google, to log in, even if that does seem extraordinarily strange. The most interesting news is that Facebook logins will be able to be used to access Yahoo properties which will include recreational activities like fantasy football and more compulsory items like Yahoo email. Keep in mind that if you’re using Facebook to log in to anything, that means that Facebook knows who you are while you’re using what you’re logged in to.
Facebook already knows so much about you and, compared to Google, Microsoft and other ad delivery systems, it knows much, much
more. Think about it, much fewer people have a Google profile
than a Facebook profile
; those that have both generally reveal much more about themselves in the latter compared to the former. Of course, it’s easier for Facebook to know who you are if you’re logged in to Facebook. Many of us log out as soon as we’re done but as Facebook accounts become increasingly available as means of logging into other sites (in this case, Yahoo) Facebook’s cache of knowledge becomes more and more valuable. Wpromote’s CEO, Michael Mothner
has suggested that with this knowledge, Facebook could engage in display advertising
in direct competition with Google. Whereas Google focuses ads based on where
you are, Facebook could focus ads based on who
you are. Whereas Google might populate clothing ads on a fashion blog or concert ticket ads on a music site, Facebook might know that you posted an update saying that you love the Lakers, and post ads related to Laker tickets and merchandise as a result.
If Mothner’s theory is correct, then Facebook could very quickly dominate the display advertising landscape. If Facebook ads are better ads and better ads are more valuable, then it’s an easy decision for website owners to choose to run ads powered by Facebook over ads powered by Google. Yahoo’s decision to allow people to log in using their Facebook accounts could be a major step in the direction of display advertising dominance for Facebook.
So, when you’re deciding on whether to start Rashard Mendenhall or Peyton Hillis next year, don’t be surprised if the ads on the page are eerily similar to things you’ve been thinking about buying… especially if you’ve mentioned it on Facebook!