Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Yahoo!'s Monster Mash

After watching smaller players grow fat on the social-networking gravy train, Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO  ) is hoping to take a ride of its own. Project head Will Aldrich announced the beta launch of the Yahoo! Mash service Friday.

This isn't the first time that Yahoo! has tried to give social networking a shot. Heard of Yahoo! 360? No? Exactly. This is a brand-new attempt by the Web's leading traffic magnet to make waves in a niche dominated by Facebook and News Corp.'s (NYSE: NWS  ) MySpace. Other sites like Bebo and Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) Orkut may not be hot brands stateside, but they're thriving in select overseas markets.

Diving in late to this crowded pool won't be easy for Mash. However, there's a bit of viral secret sauce in Yahoo!'s tardy foray. According to Aldrich's announcement, three things that should set the service apart.

  1. You can make starter profiles for your friends. "First round's on me," basically.
  2. You can leave your profile open to contributions by trusted friends.
  3. You can customize your -- or your friend's -- profile with modules from a growing gallery of apps.

In other words, there will be a little peer pressure involved. Once a friend begins a starter profile for you, you'll have an incentive to go in and flesh it out. The ability to have "trusted friends" update the profile page also reduces the number of mostly dormant profile pages that plague many other social networks.

Will that be enough to compensate for Mash's unfashionably late arrival? That's just one of the service's challenges. Since Yahoo! doesn't own -- it's the property of Swiss financial services juggernaut UBS AG (NYSE: UBS  ) -- Mash will also have to make do as a subdomain of its parent site.

Still, it's great to see Yahoo! trying to push the envelope, now that it's under public scrutiny. The company settled for an internal hire -- albeit in the person of co-founder Jerry Yang -- when it nudged CEO Terry Semel out the door three months ago.

Yahoo! has succeeded with Web 2.0 hubs like its Flickr photo-sharing site, the social-bookmarking site, and its Yahoo! Answers Q&A service. Success for Mash wouldn't be unprecedented. If all goes well, it may become part of a collection of sticky Web 2.0 sites that ultimately awakens this sleeping giant from its fiscal slumber. If Rip Van Winkle eventually woke up, Yahoo! can, too.

Set your alarm clock for further Foolishness:

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (7)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 536896, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/21/2016 9:23:23 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 12 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,162.35 -40.27 0.00%
S&P 500 2,141.34 -2.95 0.00%
NASD 5,241.83 0.00 0.00%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/20/2016 4:00 PM
YHOO $42.38 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Yahoo CAPS Rating: **
FOX $25.36 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Twenty-First Centu… CAPS Rating: ***
GOOGL $821.63 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Alphabet (A shares… CAPS Rating: *****
UBS $13.64 Down +0.00 +0.00%
UBS AG (USA) CAPS Rating: **