If you don’t like your Yahoo! email address, here’s a chance to snag the one you want. As part of their many new changes to Flickr, Search and the Homepage, among others, Yahoo! will be freeing up usernames that have been inactive for the past twelve months for new users to claim.
Instead of a confusing line of numbers trailing my (unfortunately) common name, I’ll soon have the opportunity to sign up for a Yahoo! ID that is memorable and succinct. And if given the option between email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org to put on my business card, I’d much rather choose the latter.
So what does that mean for users who want to keep their Yahoo! ID, but haven’t logged in for over a year? You have until July 15th to log into your account. Logging in at least once should keep it from being freed up, at least for another twelve months. Then, according to the Yahoo! blog, “in mid July, anyone can have a shot at scoring the Yahoo! ID they want. In mid August, users who staked a claim on certain IDs can come to Yahoo! to discover which one they got.”
With this new move, Yahoo! becomes the first Internet giant to release all their inactive usernames in bulk. As the Internet becomes more integrated into everyday life, signing up for new social media accounts and online services has turned into a land grab for the ideal username, and establishing your online identity can be tricky if you don’t have the right one. And seeing as to how physical mailing addresses frequently change, it’s really only logical that unwanted email addresses should also be similarly passed on. Here’s to hoping that others– cough Twitter– will follow Yahoo!’s lead.