Yahoo readies username recycling with Facebook verification

Summary:Desperate to change your Yahoo user ID? The time is near so get ready.

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There has been a lot of buzz surrounding Yahoo's username recycling program that is set to launch this summer.

The self-proclaimed technology company is gearing up to commence the ID turnarounds by tapping what might be an unlikely partner: Facebook.

Now, the world's largest social network might come across as a strange bedfellow here considering Facebook's own widely-used identity service and scheme, Facebook Connect.

However, as Bill Mills from the Yahoo Developer Network team explained further in a blog post on Monday, using social networking sites like Facebook can help validate new owners for these unused usernames.

As Mills points out, this specifically addresses a small percentage of users who had an e-mail address that may be re-used.

Here's more:

If a Facebook user with a Yahoo! email account submits a request to reset their password, Facebook would add the Require-Recipient-Valid-Since header to the reset email, and the new header would signal to Yahoo! to check the age of the account before delivering the mail. Facebook users typically confirm their email when they sign up for the service or add new emails to their account, and if the “last confirmed” date that Facebook specifies in the Require-Recipient-Valid-Since header is before the date of the new Yahoo! username ownership, then the email will not be delivered and will instead bounce back to Facebook, who will then contact the user by other means.

To recap, Yahoo is freeing up usernames that haven't been accessed in more than a year.

The deadline has already passed for those accounts that have been left untouched, and now interested Yahoo users can fill out a "wish list" of up to five potential usernames.

Applicants will be notified in mid-August with available picks, at which point they will have 48 hours to claim them.

Image via Yahoo/Tumblr

Topics: Mobility, Apps, Privacy, Security, Social Enterprise

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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