Did Facebook kill Yahoo 360?

Chief Yahoo Jerry Yang started to answer the question Where does Yahoo! head next? on the Yahoo blog today. The answer is necessarily incomplete, they can't go around telegraphing all of their moves, although it's hard to say who would follow them. Still Yang says that Yahoo's social blogging, friend networking, Web 2.0 ghost town, Yahoo 360 will be transitioning into some new, and apparently undecided upon Yahoo profile which might be Yahoo's reportedly underwhelming, but still invitation only Yahoo Mash.

Never fear, they won't through out your stuff, even if they don't know where they'll be moving it to. According to the Yahoo 360 Blog:

  • We will preserve your Yahoo! 360 blog content, profile photo, nickname, and friends lists during and after the transition
  • We will provide the right tools to move your blog content;
  • We will give you ample notice before this transition begins in early 2008.
What they really don't want right now is to lose any more subscribers. The fact is that they don't know what comes next and they say as much in their own blog. They'll kill whatever makes sense and hopefully come up with something better. If they do come up with something better, we'll all know right away, because despite the popularity of Facebook and others, Yahoo is still a primary launch point for those who aren't completely familiar with the web. If the service is cool, they will hear about it from their friends in Yahoo Groups, or will see it on Yahoo's portal page and dive in headlong. Most Web 2.0 startups hope that they will build a better website and that they will get lucky and eventually be discovered and then build traffic and havee a real business. Yahoo needs no such luck. They simply need to build a better, more novel approach to Facebook and the masses will come easily. No matter that they have had lots of attempts that didn't work, they have the seed audience. What they now need is to get their act together.

Facebook didn't kill Yahoo 360. Yahoo engineered the demise of Yahoo 360 by building and delivering a platform that was more interesting to the advertisers than the users. In the end, not even the advertisers cared.

About Phil Yanov

Phil Yanov is a Technologist, Columnist and Public Radio Commentator.

He is the founder of Tech After Five as well as the founder and President of the GSA Technology Council and the IT Leadership Council.

His personal technology column appears in Greenville Business Magazine and the Columbia Business Journal.

He co-hosts the Your Day technology shows heard on NPR radio stations across South Carolina and is a frequent contributor to technology stories appearing on radio and television.