eHow, the Demand Media owned how-to site, quietly announced in an email to its users today that it would be making Facebook Login the exclusive way to log in to the site, a move the company alluded to in a FAQ entry earlier this month.
According to Inside Facebook, the site has given its users until the end of the month before it will delete all existing accounts and associated data and switching over entirely to Facebook. So far, the move has met with resistance and confusion among users, but could it work out for eHow in the end?.
Why is eHow making such a drastic switch? So far, the company has not posted anything on its blog regarding the switch, but it broached the subject in its FAQ earlier this month:
We are committed to continuously improving your experience on our site. Facebook Login, formerly known as Facebook Connect, already exists as an option for members to login to eHow.com. The overall benefit of utilizing Facebook Login is that users can immediately connect with those they rely on and trust most: their Facebook friend network. Also, Facebook Login adds simplicity to eHow.com by helping users streamline their friend lists and eliminating the need for users to have to remember multiple logins. Facebook Login has revolutionized login across the Web, and we're catching the wave.
So, eHow is simply "catching the wave", then? The company offers an even more interesting attitude on the whole affair in today's email announcement. In it, it notes that all user accounts will be deleted, forums will be shut down, and "if you have friends on eHow.com that you're not connected to on Facebook, be sure to add them on Facebook so you can keep them in your trusted network of friends."
It seems a rather flippant attitude to take in regard to how one handles their online identity to suggest that an eHow acquaintance equals a Facebook friend. Are these on socially similar footing? A quick look at the user comments to the change seem to say otherwise.
So why make the switch? Is it worth it simply to access more easily verifiable, and likely more reliable, personal information on your users?
Inside Facebook's Josh Constine predicts the ultimate demise of eHow, warning that "other websites should learn a lesson from eHow.com's seemingly unwise decision." Either that, or half the users will disappear, the rest will go along with it and all the new ones will be handled simply using Facebook Login instead of relying on in-house resources to handle something easily handled by Facebook.
What do you think - will eHow's move backfire or be a boon in the end?