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Yahoo Opens Mash, Exhibits Facebook Envy

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Invitations to join Yahoo Mash and test out Yahoo’s newest experiment in social networking have been landing in a few inboxes.

Yahoo Opens Mash, Exhibits Facebook Envy
Yahoo Opens Mash, Exhibits Facebook Envy

Once upon a time in the Terry Semel era at Yahoo, the company made a play for Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook. A cool billion dollars reportedly awaited the youthful entrepreneur, who blew off the meeting with Semel in favor of hanging out with his girlfriend.

Fast forward to today. Semel has been out of Sunnyvale for a couple of months. People associated with Facebook have made claims that the company could be worth upwards of eight or ten billion, depending on who you read.

And Yahoo has a new social network toy for people to play with, called Yahoo Mash.

Upon accepting a Mash invitation and signing in to Yahoo, one has the chance to claim that profile and begin customizing it. Yahoo also gives the visitor the opportunity to invite people listed in their Yahoo Mail, Gmail, or Windows Live Hotmail address books.

Several content blocks are available by default, with the usual personal info and photo options available to define oneself. One can answer several quirky questions in an About Me section, and post their status in a Blurt.

Additional content modules may be added from a dropdown menu, or from a module gallery. Yahoo plans to open their module development platform to 3rd party developers in the coming months. Adding a module is as simple as hitting the Grab It button.

The Masher can apply some style to a profile through another module. This is where a Mash profile can turn into a MySpace one, visually, as people can add background images, quickly set colors for modules, borders, fonts, and links, and even add custom CSS properties.

Yahoo has made Mash an easy to use service. The hard part will be finding and growing an audience beyond the early invitees, as it seems like everyone has a Facebook, MySpace, or other social networking profile already.

If Yahoo can crack that nut, by drawing on their sizable userbase, that would be a nice accomplishment for CEO Jerry Yang.

Yahoo Opens Mash, Exhibits Facebook Envy
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  • Slim

    Just a comment on Yahoo’s hope that Mash will compete with Facebook or MySpace. It can’t and won’t unless Yahoo plans on making some major additions and 3rd party modules won’t help. After two days of playing with it, I would rather stay with their 360 site.

    Yahoo should have upgraded the Yahoo 360 by intergrating features it has in Mash, which would have enabled to stand toe to toe with MySpace.

  • http://360.yahoo.com/msbeckyboop Becky

    I must admit to being very curious about Mash and wish Yahoo would send me an Inivte!

    I can’t wait to see how interactive it is and how visitors and/or friends can “do” graffiti when they visit your Mash.

    Can Mash possibly be as simple to use as 360?

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