Yahoo! has decided that their blogging and social networking platform, Yahoo! 360, is a failed experiment, and they’re pulling the plug. The news comes via Techcrunch, which noted that Jerry Yang announced it in a blog post on October 16. The Yahoo 360 blog explained the shut down in more detail. As Techcrunch points out, no one really noticed.
Yahoo! is calling the closure an “evolution” and promises that existing users will be given a new home. They’re not quite sure yet exactly where this new home will be. Presumably it will be Yahoo! Mash, currently in private beta. I admit that while I have a profile on Mash, I’ve yet to do anything there but approve friend requests. Fortunately, Mash lets others modify your profile, so I have a custom background and a well-fed pet despite my neglect.
Ironically, or perhaps tellingly, the post on the Yahoo! 360 blog just before the announcement was a plea for users who had abandoned that blog in favor of the Yahoo! Mash Suggestion board to come back.
If no one seemed to notice the announcement, it’s likely there aren’t many users to find homes for. If Facebook (or even Twitter) made a similar announcement, the screams of anguish would be heard by even those without Internet connections.
Yahoo! 360 was launched in March 2005 in competition with MSN Spaces (now renamed Windows Live Spaces, naturally). Microsoft appears to be hanging in there. CEO Steve Ballmer mentioned on October 18 at Web 2.0 Summit that two new Microsoft services — Popfly and and the new version of Windows Live Photo Gallery — would be supported by Windows Live Spaces. Techcrunch notes today that comScore reported over 9.7 million unique visitors for Windows Live Spaces in September (compared to 30.6 million for Facebook and 68.5 million for MySpace). In contrast, Yahoo! 360 received just under 2.8 million unique visitors.