Use ’em or lose ’em: Yahoo will reset inactive user IDs this summer

If you’re not reaching, engaging, and monetizing customers on mobile, you’re likely losing them to someone else. Register now for the 8th annual MobileBeat, July 13-14, where the best and brightest will be exploring the latest strategies and tactics in the mobile space.


If you’ve got a Yahoo ID that you haven’t used in a while, you’ve got two months before Yahoo gives it to someone else.

Yahoo announced today that it’s resetting inactive user IDs to free them up for users who might want them. People who haven’t logged into Yahoo for at least 12 months have until July 15 to do so.

The process seems fairly simple: First, Yahoo will allow users to apply for whatever inactive IDs they want. Then, in August, the company will reveal who gets what. (It’s not clear how this affects email accounts, which we’ve asked Yahoo about.)

Yahoo has been around since 1994, giving it nearly 20 years to accumulate countless inactive accounts. Considering how many more users it expects to add with, say, its Tumblr acquisition, I’d say this is a pretty smart move.

Of course, the move also has the ulterior benefit of getting estranged users back on Yahoo again, even if it’s just for a few seconds.

The big question, though, is this: Just how many inactive accounts does Yahoo have by this point? We can only guess.