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Tuesday
Jul162013

Yahoo! Is Giving Away Email Addresses

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Yahoo is well aware that a number of its users left a few years back and haven't logged into their Yahoo accounts for quite awhile. But the company sees that as an opportunity. Yahoo is offering up those dormant e-mail addresses, and starting Tuesday new or current Yahoo users can create a wish list of their most desired usernames or email addresses.

Last month the company informed users whose accounts were dormant for over a year that they would begin a process that would give away their addresses. That part is over now, Yahoo says, and it's now time to free up those unused addresses for others to use. Users can go to Yahoo's new wish list site at https://wishlist.yahoo.com to request the username of their dreams -- or, you know, a first name or first, last name combination.

"If your first choice isn't available, we'll try one of your backups," Yahoo's Dylan Casey wrote in a Tumblr post about the new site. In mid-August the company will inform those who have requested new usernames if they have gotten their top picks and they will have 48 hours to claim the new address.

It sounds like a fun way to get a new user name, but there are some concerns, notably around privacy and for those who had these e-mail addresses before and used them to log in to social media and e-commerce sites. Yahoo says it is working with sites like Facebook to get around these issues and has begun to detail the process on its developer site. It plans to detail more in the coming weeks.

The username wish list project is just one of many changes that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has made since she took over a year ago this week. Mayer has made a series of acquisitions and refreshes to products, including Yahoo's weather app and Flickr photo-sharing service.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio