Google, Yahoo Quietly Develop Social Networks

    July 9, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

So Google’s Orkut hasn’t taken off where it counts and the company missed its chance to buy MySpace for the half the price News Corp. paid for it. And Yahoo couldn’t get Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg out of bed long enough to negotiate a successful buyout. Must be why both of them are working on new social networks on their own, on the sly.

Well, one’s on the sly, the other is just coming to light.

Ionut Alex Chitu of the Google Operating System blog reports that Google is developing "Orkut 2.0," or as the Carnegie Mellon graduate team they’ve enlisted calls it: Socialstream.

Socialstream looks intended to be a one-stop social networking shop, allowing users to bring together data from several networks in one place to view it. They call it a unified social network, aimed at users over 20.

From the project website:

Prototype Goal: Create a system for users to seamlessly share, view, and respond to many types of social content across multiple networks.

[W]e chose to focus on the effects of a new model for online social networking: a unified social network that, as a service, provides social data to many other applications. Our user research examined needs related to online as well as offline social networking and considered how they related to a unified social network service model. Through this user research we identified a set of archetypes that represent common behavior patterns that existed across multiple study participants and also formulated a summarized list of their high level needs.

Chitu points out that such a network would require the opening or the participation of competing social networks. "This also assumes that other social networks have an API and don’t act like walled gardens, which is not the case right now."

Meanwhile, over in Sunnyvale, Yahoo is looking for "damn funny" interns to work on its new social network product. They’d rather you didn’t know that though, and have most likely disowned, or at least disavowed, Michael Arrington’s email evidence.

Arrington notes
the existence of, accessible internally from the Yahoo camp before posting the text of an email sent to a prospective (anonymous) intern. The intern would aid in development and promotion of the network, and have active accounts on MySpace and Facebook.

Mosh is possibly a replacement for Yahoo 360, or perhaps a place to share pictures from the pit, or, if they’re bad at Japanese transliteration, a hangout for expatriate chatters and their girlfriends – moshi, mosh!