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Yahoo CEO Mayer retweeting people pledging loyalty to Yahoo

All morning long, Marissa Mayer has been retweeting people who say they'll switch their home page to Yahoo if she retweets them. But why?

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer at TechCrunch Disrupt 2013 in San Francisco. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

If you switch your home page to Yahoo, Marissa Mayer might retweet you.

Is that enough of a reward to make the switch? For a number of people this morning, the answer seems to be yes. For about an hour, Mayer, Yahoo's CEO, has been retweeting Twitter users who have been saying that they'll switch their home page to Yahoo if she retweets them.

She even retweeted someone who posted that, "If she retweets me, I will stop making fun of Yahoo's new logo in public."

But mostly, the retweets have been going to people promising to make a My Yahoo page or to make Yahoo their home page. Yahoo launched a redesign of its personalized home page feature, My Yahoo, on Thursday for desktop and mobile devices. The new look, which comes just days before iGoogle is shut down, features a modern, tiled layout and new themed backgrounds from designers, artists, and bands.

All told, as of this writing, Mayer had retweeted 11 people. Mayer did not personally respond to a tweet from CNET asking if she was the one doing the retweeting.

The question is why anyone would be willing to make a switch like this just because the CEO of Yahoo retweeted them. For Mayer, who a Yahoo spokesperson told CNET is actually doing the retweeting, there's almost no effort at all required. But switching a home page can be a significant step for many Internet users. Tweets sent to two people who made the loyalty pledge were not answered.

Clearly, though, it's a smart move by Mayer to invest the time. It's certain to get her good press (see this article) and gain her goodwill among potential Yahoo users. That's especially true because she showed a sense of humor by retweeting the person who said he would stop making fun of Yahoo's logo.

Assuming that any of these people do actually change their home page, will they stick with it? Perhaps it will take more Marissa Mayer retweets to make it last.

Update, 11:24 a.m. PT: This story now reflects comment from Yahoo.