Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO)—which has failed several times to launch a successful social network—is trying once again with a Twitter-style microblogging service. An English-language version of Yahoo Meme, launched in alpha this week and at least from the “About” section of the site Yahoo seems to be very serious about it. “Meme is where you share everything that you find that’s interesting,” the site says. “We have some ideas about better ways to do this than what we see in other sites and would love to get your inputs if we’re on the right track.”
Using the service, people can write up short entries and add photos or videos to their pages—which are called “memes.” They can also “follow” other memes—and track entries from those pages via one central dashboard. It’s also possible to “repost” entries from other “memes.” (See some examples here).
Meme is run out of Yahoo Southeast Asia and it appears as though Yahoo has initially targeted markets where rival services Tumblr and Twitter are less established than in the United States. TechCrunch, which has been scrupulously tracking the service’s global expansion, reported that a Portuguese language version launched in May and a Spanish-language version followed last month.
Will it take off? TC tried it out and was not impressed, calling it a “mediocre” clone of Tumblr.
But Yahoo seems intent on making a play in the social networking space; chief technology officer Ari Balogh has said the company would like to become a bigger player in the area. “I can guarantee you there will be some acquisitions, and we will do some stuff in house,” he told Reuters in May.
And while Yahoo has shut down its more traditional social networking attempts—like Yahoo Mash and Spot SM in India—microblogging is certainly the hot area in social networking right now. (We’ve reached out to Yahoo to get more details on its plans and will update if we hear back).
By Joseph Tartakoff