Yahoo! is set to enter the social networking arena with Yahoo! Mash. The new service will be in direct competition with the social networking heavy weights of Facebook and Myspace.
Yahoo! is not new to social networking having previously released Yahoo! 360, which according to Jeff Weiner, executive vice president of Yahoo’s network division did not “attain the position the company expected.” Yahoo! also unsuccessfully attempted to buy Facebook for 1 billion dollars.
Yahoo! looks to have learnt from its 360 experience with Mash providing greater control to users in managing their online persona. Being able to differentiate the service from the very popular social networking sites’ is the key to the success of Yahoo! First impressions of the (currently) invite only service looks to have done this.
Users are encouraged to edit each other’s pages. Each time we visit our profile page, we are seeing new modules that others have loaded for us. This capability certainly adds to the “mashing” aspect of the social network. It also appears as though Yahoo intends for users to mash their information together from across the company’s various properties, perhaps making Mash the main hub for Yahoo users
Usability and user control is the difference between failure and success in social networking, Mash has a tick for both. On this basis, Facebook in record time wrestled the top position from Myspace. While still in development, no Facebook crushing result has been touted from Yahoo!.
With the speed at which multiple users can switch services the result of Yahoo! entering the market again, will be known shortly.