Yahoo today announced an update that will allow people to sign up to use its services and make new Yahoo accounts — but with any email address. No longer will you need to create a Yahoo email address if you want to use, say, Yahoo Fantasy Sports.

Yahoo senior product manager Assaf Kremer makes a telling admission in providing an example that explains this change in a blog post:

Meet Jack. Jack wants to play Yahoo Fantasy Sports so he can have some Tourney Pick’em fun. Like most people, Jack already has an email address. It isn’t a Yahoo email address, though.

Yesterday, Jack would have had to create a new Yahoo email address just to sign up for Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick’em. That’s not fair to Jack and just doesn’t make sense. (Emphasis mine.)

The adjustment to identity requirements here is a bit reminiscent of Google’s pattern of decoupling Google+ from its services, including YouTube.

Yahoo has been shaking up a lot of its assets lately. The company said in February that it would lay off 15 percent of its employees. Shortly after that the company announced changes at Yahoo Labs with two big departures.

Today’s change will be rolling out to Yahoo features other than Yahoo Fantasy Sports “soon,” Kremer wrote.

Note that Yahoo Mail supports multiple types of email accounts, including AOL and Outlook.

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