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Answers.com Now Only With Facebook and Own Login 127

Posted by timothy
from the you-haff-been-assimilated dept.
CptnHarlock writes "Today the registered users of Answers.com received an email informing them that the site has ended support for Yahoo, Twitter, Google, or LinkedIn as a way to sign into their site. Facebook is the sole external way left to log in. A local login and password were generated and sent by email and the old (non-Facebook) logins deactivated. Score another one for Facebook.com in the login consolidation wars."
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Answers.com Now Only With Facebook and Own Login

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  • Reeeaaal smart (Score:5, Informative)

    by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmhNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @01:34PM (#37987368) Journal

    The only reason I can imagine sites are doing this is very short-term thinking. When you make Facebook your only way to log in, you make yourself dependent on Facebook, which let's not forget, could fall out of favor just as quickly as Myspace, or Geocities before that.

    It's a precedent that other sites should be afraid to set at all. They should be avoiding centralized login services like the plague. The current system is the best, where the only point of centralization is an email address, because email is 100% free and open (for now, although port 25 blocking and spam blocklist maintainers are threatening that)

    • Re:Reeeaaal smart (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Kenja (541830) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @01:35PM (#37987394)
      No, the reason is money. Facebook gives them cash, they do stupid things in exchange. Facebook then hopes to get more information to sell, I mean more users.
      • by ackthpt (218170)

        No, the reason is money. Facebook gives them cash, they do stupid things in exchange. Facebook then hopes to get more information to sell, I mean more users.

        Wouldn't be a bad idea of FB put some of that money into improving their crappy interface. I hate using the site. Only post occasionally because my stress level goes up each time I use it.

      • Re:Reeeaaal smart (Score:5, Informative)

        by rwven (663186) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @01:56PM (#37987676)

        Except having worked with things like this, i know that facebook does no such thing. Facebook gives you nothing at all in return for using their services. The upside is that your content gets out, and shared on facebook....which drives users to your site. I'm sure facebook mines that data for all kinds of fun things though.

        -RV

        • IS there any way to have hundreds of facebook accounts? I'd be fine with using facebook as a universal ID system if I can also maintain different logins of different sites rather than linking them all to one facebook ID. I don't actually use face book-- indeed I detest it, but that's another story.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Raenex (947668)

          Except having worked with things like this, i know that facebook does no such thing.

          "Worked" in what capacity? Do you have an insiders view of the business deals that goes on in Facebook, as in do you actually work for Facebook?

          Facebook gives you nothing at all in return for using their services.

          Then why would it benefit Answers.com to exclusively rely on Facebook? Such exclusivity is often driven by bribes, err, business relationships.

          • by rwven (663186)

            The (sizable) company that I work (on the development team) for implements the facebook login & commenting systems. It's a free service facebook offers to anyone who wants to use it. You get $0 from facebook for using it.

            The reason THEY want to only use it is the same reason WE only use it. Maintaining 6 points of entry and keeping up with changing apis for multiple networks is a huge pain. Best to pick the one with the widest possible audience and just maintain that one. Facebook's api and customer fac

      • No, the reason is money. Facebook gives them cash, they do stupid things in exchange. Facebook then hopes to get more information to sell, I mean more users.

        No, it's not. The reason is conversion rate. (Full stop)

        The only reason there is for a site owner to implement facebook login is a high conversion rate from guests to logged in users.
        The user just does one click and milliseconds later has given up all his personal data to the site he just autoregistered for.

        by doing conventional logins small portal admins get around 80% less registrations and the quality of the data they get of the users is much lower.
        Facebook login is tailored for identity retrieval which

        • by Lehk228 (705449)
          you get logged in witha single click and one less site out there with a password to have to remember
        • by ganjadude (952775)
          exactly, i have a fb account with no info about anything i leave logged in at all times and use to register at sites i find from slashdot or digg or other sites that i dont plan on using more than a time or two, in the past i would read something and move on, now all i have to do is click the fb button to login? so those sites that i would have read once and moved on now have a user. it is smart on the sites end
        • The user just does one click and milliseconds later has given up all his personal data to the site he just autoregistered for.

          Only the personal data you supplied to FB in the first place. Don't give it to FB, no one else gets it either. And if it's "required", just fudge it. Can't remember if my b-day was a required, but if it was I certainly didn't give them the real one. Same for just about every other shred of info on that site: it's either inconsequential (like a "throwaway" email addy) or falsified. And to any responses that say "it's against their TOS", well then call my honeybadger, cuz I just don't give a sh*t.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by RazzleFrog (537054)

      Facebook is far more entrenched in a more diverse population than MySpace or Geocities every were. It will likely be a while before it is replaced - longer than the terms of this contract at least.

      • Re:Reeeaaal smart (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @01:58PM (#37987722) Homepage Journal
        Well...hoping this isn't a trend for too many sites...as that I don't have now, nor do I ever intend to have a FB account.

        That being said, as long as they have their own login too, that's cool....I'd just use that.

        But, if I site goes FB logon only, that'll be the end of my use of it. I'd have a hard time thinking any site would limit themselves to only FB members....while FB does indeed have a huge membership, they aren't 100%....and as a business owner, I'd not like to risk losing anyone as a potential customer.

        • by JohnFen (1641097)

          I do have a FB account, but I do not, and never will, use it as a unified login service. I keep it as disconnected from my activities as possible (blocking FB servers when I don't want to talk with them, etc.) Facebook is not to be trusted.

          If a site goes purely to using FB login, that will be the end of my use of the site as well.

          • > (blocking FB servers when I don't want to talk with them, etc.)

            Speaking of blocking Fecesbook, here are a few entries for your firewall. I ran nslookups on the following...

            66.220.144.0/20 fbcdn.net
            69.63.176.0/20 facebook.com
            69.171.224.0/19 facebook.com
            200.58.112.0/20 opengraph.net
            213.155.64.0/19 opengraphprotocol.net

            Anybody got more ranges? The first 3 entries are on AS 32934. I was going to post more detailed output at the end, but I ran into Slashdot's "lame filter".

        • I expect to see Slashdot announcing Facebook-only login next April 1st.
    • by Amouth (879122)

      To be fair Geocities was on the same scale as facebook at one point (for people who did use the net not in general society). And they could have stayed around a lot longer but they died due to how they handled their community. if Facebook started charging $ per post and a monthly login fee i'm sure it would die extremely quickly.

      yes Geocities did have some ad revenue - but companies where not paying for web marketing at the time and the potential funds to tap into for that was much smaller relative to us

      • by rpresser (610529)

        Geocities maybe had a similar market percentage to Facebook. But it never, never, had anything like the same scale. Facebook has over 750 million registered users. Geocities had a max of maybe 175 million yearly unique visitors.

        • by Amouth (879122)

          market % yes and scale yes..

          if you look at the number of users vs the possible pool + the tech available then and now and the size of the companies.. yea they where the same scale then as face book is now..

          • Market share, percent of pool, call it what you will - it's a bucket of bollocks.

            Revenue largely depends on absolute numbers, and 1% of nearly-everybody-including-corporate-twats-and-grannies is considerably more than 1.5% of academics, dweebs and geeks.

            Which is roughly GP's point, I think.

            • by Amouth (879122)

              both can be measured by the number of people who had access to it.

              more people have access to the net today than they did 15-20 years ago and there fore facebook has a larger pool of potential users than geocities.

              both are on the same scale and can be compared when you think of them as user base as a % of possible user base.

    • by wiedzmin (1269816)
      I know, what the hell. I haven't used Facebook in 2 years, I guess I'll just use BugMeNot if I need to login to that site.
      • I assume you mean the other Bugmenot that doesn't respond to takedown requests, because Facebook is blocked from bugmenot.com

    • Re:Reeeaaal smart (Score:5, Informative)

      by JazzHarper (745403) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @02:17PM (#37987932) Journal

      Answers.com did NOT make Facebook the only way to log in. They are eliminating support for three centralized login services, which should make you happy. They probably kept Facebook because too many people would have complained. However, the only thing you need to maintain an account on Answers.com is an e-mail address, which should also make you happy.

      • If they got rid of all their social network logins I would be happy, but the fact that they whittled it down to email and Facebook tells me they see those two as being the most important, as if they're in the same league. Why was Facebook more important than all the others that were ditched?

      • by williamhb (758070)

        Answers.com did NOT make Facebook the only way to log in. They are eliminating support for three centralized login services, which should make you happy. They probably kept Facebook because too many people would have complained. However, the only thing you need to maintain an account on Answers.com is an e-mail address, which should also make you happy.

        I can suggest a very simple strategic reason for this change. If you look on their front page, the questions and answers tend not to be businessy. So they don't want your LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google graph. They'd much rather you OAuth-orise them to access your personal social graph instead. This change corrals those users who are willing to use a social network log-in into using their Facebook one.

    • OpenID > email. It's 100% free and open too, and it doesn't force you to have a different password for every site - you can even login with a personal certificate on your OpenID provider.

    • Not to mention I don't have a Facebook account and don't plan to get one. You've just told me, and probably many others, "Thanks, but no thanks. We don't want your contributions."

    • by Tolkien (664315)
      OpenID is decent, granted it doesn't solve the whole single point of failure problem but it doesn't try to, either. It does a good job of consolidating login and user data, so the only trust a user need grant is to that of their provider.
  • Oh noes! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @01:34PM (#37987378)

    A crappy scraper site that republishes Wikipedia's content will no longer allow me to use an account I don't have from a provider I don't use!

    • Haha true XD

      Someone sent me a survey they were doing as part of a school project recently, on social networks. I couldn't fill it out because I don't use any social networks at all. Basically the minimum level of social network activity that the survey assumed was possible was occasional Facebook use. It gave you the option to say that you didn't use G+, Twitter, etc at all, but it was assumed that you at least occasionally used Facebook.

      • by tompaulco (629533)
        Someone sent me a survey they were doing as part of a school project recently, on social networks. I couldn't fill it out because I don't use any social networks at all.
        Slashdot has enemies, friends, and whatnot, journalling, update notices,etc. To quote John Bender ,"So it's sorta social, demented and sad, but social. Right?"
        • Slashdot doesn't have a mechanism for sending messages between users, which pretty much disqualifies it as a social networking site. Friends and Foes are just moderation modifiers. I vaguely remember you being able to restrict journal posts so only your friends could comment, but I think that option went away. About the only thing that you can do as a logged in Slashdot user that you can't as an Anonymous Coward is get automatic notifications of replies to your posts.
          • About the only thing that you can do as a logged in Slashdot user that you can't as an Anonymous Coward is get automatic notifications of replies to your posts.

            Well, and accumulate karma.

    • republishes Wikipedia's content

      Which in a few cases [xkcd.com] can be a good thing.

    • by owlnation (858981)

      A crappy scraper site that republishes Wikipedia's content

      Not quite "scraper". Honest Jimbo Wales sells them wikipedia content: i.e. flogs them other people's work for profit. Just one of the many dubious ways Jimbo cashes in on wikipedia.

  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @01:37PM (#37987436) Homepage

    Answers.com is an ad-heavy content farm. Why would anyone want a login there?

    • by adisakp (705706)
      On a netbook, tablet or phone, about 70% of the initial home page view is ads -- and not unbotrusive ones (those make up the bottom 50% of the page when you scroll down with web link ads). Plus the way the panes work and the clutter is very remiscent of sites from 5 years ago. This is not a site that is friendly for fast consumer browsing on portable devices. Basically any site this cluttered is gonna be dying and starving for cash as the PostPC-browser age comes into full swing.
    • FarmVille is an ad-heavy virtual farm. Why would anyone want a login there?
    • by dadioflex (854298)
      That is the curious thing. I actually don't hate answers.com, and it every so often does answer a question I've had. But I don't need to log in to see those answers. The people logging in, presumably are mainly the content-providers that write the articles that earn them nickels and dimes a time. As I see it, this is answers.com willingly eating itself to get the last dregs from the business model.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      One would have thought that the majority of readers would have long since blocked ads. I block everything, and I do mean everything. Between my hosts file, Firefox add-ons and about:config, I see nothing but a clean Internet. Ads used to be just annoying, but now they track you, especially Flash-based ads. So I just cannot risk it. I already pay to use the Internet. I'm not paying with my privacy.

      If you are on Linux you can still use Flash without it tracking you, as nothing escapes the event horizon of /de

    • by arielCo (995647)

      Oh, is it that bad?

      /me pets his Adblock Plus icon

  • Is there a [real dollar] cost? I would like to know.

  • by iceaxe (18903) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @01:45PM (#37987538) Journal

    OK, so answers.com goes on the list of sites I will continue to not use.

    • by TWX (665546)

      Pretty much.

      I don't see a reason to get into social networking. Taking away some forums because they now require social networking isn't going to change my mind. If anything, it'll help me get over this Internet addiction faster.

    • by Dhalka226 (559740)

      Continue to not use... gosh, you couldn't pull your punches or anything? Talk about kicking somebody when they're down, that's just overboard! They'll be devastated!

      This is what passes for +5 insightful these days. Awesome.

  • Given that most network assets registered under facebook and related domains resolve to 0.0.0.0 on my network, this would seem like a counterproductive strategy.

    In other words, making your site dependent on the availability of a function offered by facebook is not a good business strategy - more of a lousy exit strategy. Oh well, answers.com belongs in the bin anyway.

  • No love for Facebook. I've never joined and won't join just because they're the only choice for some web site of questionable use. Twitter is my social network choice, because they are more open; my words, good or bad, aren't hidden from non-members.
  • by LordNicholas (2174126) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @01:55PM (#37987654)
    Let's not overhype what's occurring here. FTA: "You now have two ways you can sign in and stay with us and keep your contributions and earned badges." They're only dropping support for other single sign on type logins, probably all of which had been provided by a 3rd party like Gigya. Standard old-fashioned site registration/login is still supported. I work for a major TV network website; we have single sign on via Facebook and also offer signup via the rogue's gallery of Twitter, LinkedIn, mySpace, etc in addition to a standard old-fashioned signup. Literally 99% of our signups come from either Facebook or standard registration. We'll probably drop support for the others as well, as they're not worth the dev resources or the fee we pay to Gigya.
  • now i have to use that site with zero logins instead of my usual zero.

  • I wonder how much Facebook paid for this privilege?
  • I deleted my facebook and will not re-create it, so I guess these sites are off limits to me forever. Seems like a good business model
  • Misleading summary (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JazzHarper (745403)

    The summary states that all non-Facebook logins have been deactivated.
    That is not true. One does not need a Facebook account to log into Answers.com.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by LordNicholas (2174126)
      I'm disappointed that seemingly most Slashdotters couldn't even be bothered to read the article HEADLINE, let alone the summary or, god forbid, the article itself.
      • by JazzHarper (745403) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @02:23PM (#37987998) Journal

        They read it--they just didn't understand it.

      • by coolmadsi (823103)

        I'm disappointed that seemingly most Slashdotters couldn't even be bothered to read the article HEADLINE, let alone the summary or, god forbid, the article itself.

        The title for the tab I have open for this page is "Answers.com Now Only With Facebook a..."

        Maybe they just read that and are making up their own words to finish the title. Although (particuarly in this case) reading half a headline isn't much better than not reading the headline at all...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Sure it says that if you rip half a sentence out of context.
      I really don't see anything misleading in the summary if you actually, uhh, read it.
      What fools modded this up?

  • From a business point of view, especially so if they generate their funds through ads, why cut your userbase? Your ads are just going to be seen even less.
  • A local login and password were generated and sent by email and the old (non-Facebook) logins deactivated.

    So... without asking users they went through the trouble of handing all personal data required to create a Facebook profile and email the new Facebook profile login info to those users? Is this what happened?

    Do I have to join Facebook to get an answer to that?

  • Why must I be part of a social network in order to log in to a non-social-networking site? Sorry, not worth the hassle to set up a facebook account just to get access to another website...
  • People actually log into answers.com?
  • by wcrowe (94389)

    I'm beginning to think Facebook is the mark of the beast.

  • I have a Facebook account that I *only* use to allow old friends to locate me. I never stay logged in on my account. But, I also like answering programming questions from newbies as a bit of a pay it forward effort. No way will I leave my Facebook account logged in for this crap. I foresee this decision being reversed pretty quickly...unless Facebook dropped some insane amount of cash on them.

  • I remember when someone said to me that "You HAVE to get a MySpace account". That was in around 2005. I didn't create one. I also don't have a FB account. So, what I'm finding is that more and more things online are REQUIRING to have a FB account. This is very wrong for a few different reasons that don't need to be explained, as they are so obvious. As an example, I tried to send a message to my local PBS station and discovered that their only means of communication was via FB, and had ditched email.
  • Nowadays with things like OpenId and Disqus, it's very easy for a site to allow users to customize what provider they go through for a login. Restrictions like this seem just plain silly.

    • by cpghost (719344)
      I know quite a lot of newspapers that switched their comment sections to Disqus... only to lose their most valuable writers. Personally, I intensely dislike centralized commenting systems a la Disqus, because of their quite scary cross-site-profiling capabilities. I'm wondering how such an evil scheme could become so popular among journals.
  • If services start using Facebook as sole login credential - which Answers.com apparently hasn't done, but Spotify, for instance, has - what's there to prevent millions of users to register accounts like bjsjfo88803 or e93u9f39f for the sole purpose of logging in to other sites? I already do this for Youtube.
  • When I bought my first computer in the summer of 1978, an Apple ][+, I had several other makes to choose from, each running their own OS and offering their own peripheral device cards. When IBM released their "PC" they included a disk operating system (DOS) which was a subset of Unix. There were several versions of DOS but the best one was DRDOS. Eventually, the other computers and operating systems faded away, and only Apples and PCs, and their clones, were left, along with DOS and other operating s

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