I consider this very good news: Yahoo and Facebook have announced plans to integrate Facebook Connect into Yahoo during the first half of next year.
Yahoo’s blog post about the news doesn’t provide a whole lot of detail, but it says that you’ll be able to (A) share Yahoo features such as photos, article comments, ratings, and more via your Facebook activity stream; (B) benefit from “richer experiences” on services such as Yahoo Mail, Yahoo News, Yahoo Answers, and Yahoo Sports; and (C) update your status message on Facebook or on various Yahoo services. I’m assuming/hoping that you’ll also be able to log into any Yahoo service with your Facebook credentials, although the post doesn’t explicitly say so.
It’s a pleasant surprise to see a Web player as big as Yahoo turn on Facebook Connect. Even if the decision stems in part from Yahoo’s somewhat fragile condition and resulting willingness to behave in ways that a super-ambitious, Web-dominating monolith would not. (What do you think the chances are that Google will turn on Facebook Connect anytime soon?)
The more time I spend online, the more I realize that I don’t want multiple, fractured collections of friends, family, and acquaintances stored at various destinations around the Web. I want one well-organized, close-to-comprehensive database of people I care about. For a lot of us, that data lives on Facebook. The more places we can get to it, the better. And a Facebook-enabled Yahoo gives me a pretty tantalizing reason to consider using Yahoo services instead of comparable ones from Google, Microsoft, and other Yahoo rivals.