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Breaking Down Yahoo’s Social Landscape

What Lies Ahead for 2008?

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Yahoo! has been a very influential provider of social services online for quite some time.

Yahoo's Social Universe

Over the last few years they have either created or purchased online social sites, here is a quick breakdown of some of the major start-ups and acquisitions:

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2005
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flickr

  • name: flickr
  • acquired
  • purpose: photo sharing
  • similar to: DropShots
  • status: Top photo and image sharing website online. When acquired by Yahoo!, flickr was a top online property and it still is.

Yahoo! 360° beta

  • name: Yahoo! 360°
  • created
  • purpose: Personal Pages
  • similar to: Facebook, MySpace, iGoogle
  • status: Still in beta, Yahoo! 360° has yet to really take off as a sharable social personal page creator. It gives users the ability to create a public profile with feeds, photos, blog, lists and more. Without Yahoo! putting more emphasis on marketing this to their users. It may be outmatched before it gets out of beta.

blo.gs

  • name: blo.gs
  • acquired
  • purpose: manage online blogs and feeds
  • similar to: Bloglines, Technorati

  • status: Not active. Blo.gs is still visible online, but the functionality is not there.

del.icio.us

  • name: del.icio.us
  • acquired
  • purpose: bookmark and share web-pages accessible everywhere
  • similar to: StumbleUpon
  • status: Active and still a force in online sharing and bookmarking of websites and web-pages.

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2006
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jumpcut beta

  • name: JumpCut
  • acquired
  • purpose: create, upload, edit and share videos online
  • similar to: YouTube
  • status: Although YouTube is not designed to create and edit videos online, it has definitely become the driving force for online video viewing and sharing. Although it appears to be a quality product, Yahoo! hasn’t promoted JumpCut to be a force online.

bix

  • name: bix
  • acquired
  • purpose: create, enter and judge online competitions
  • similar to: online, user-generated American Idol
  • status: Started as an online community to upload and compete with other lip-sync and karaoke fans online, it still is an online property to spend countless hours. Not heavily marketed by Yahoo!

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2007
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MyBlogLog

  • name: MyBlogLog
  • acquired
  • purpose: build communities around blogs
  • similar to: Technorati favs
  • status: MyBlogLog has developed a very strong presence in the blogosphere with it’s recent readers widget that is visible on many blogs.

Y! Mash beta

  • name: Y! Mash
  • created
  • purpose: social networking
  • similar to: MySpace
  • status: Although it has been available in beta since mid-September 2007, it is still in limited release (for a free invite, send me an email). It is remarkably similar to MySpace and hasn’t really been pushed or promoted by Yahoo! yet.

Kickstart preview

  • name: Kickstart
  • created
  • purpose: social and professional networking
  • similar to: Facebook, LinkedIn
  • status: Rather than calling it beta, Yahoo!’s Kickstart is in a “preview” status that is accessible to everyone. Targeting college students and alums, Kickstart really hasn’t had much of one from Yahoo! yet.

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2008
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We don’t know yet!

Yahoo has invested a lot of money in the purchase, building and maintenance of these online communities listed here, but I wonder when Yahoo! plans on leveraging these online properties into a powerhouse that can rule the social Internet?

Here are a couple of questions and comments that come to mind:

  • Yahoo! 360° – Why not merge My Yahoo! (also in beta) together?
  • Blo.gs – What happened here? Why did Yahoo! purchase this to let it go dormant?
  • JumpCut – Can’t you get the buzz out and start making a move against YouTube?
  • bix – This is a perfect time to get this property buzz, psst, this is an election year and with the influence politics has online, this could be a great opportunity!
  • Y! Mash – Why is this still in beta? Legal concerns with MySpace?
  • Kickstart – Another opportunity as people are raising red flags over Facebook’s use (or misuse) of personal information.

What are your thoughts?

Do you think that Yahoo can maintain all of these social websites to keep them recognizable to online users?

Will Yahoo start leveraging their search presence to gain additional traffic through these social websites?

Will other Yahoo social platforms go the way of blo.gs?

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