News is out fairly early in the week that Google and Yahoo! are working on their own respective next-generation social networks. While the two already own properties in the space — Google’s Orkut and Yahoo!’s 360 — they’ve failed to capture a demographic even lightly proportionate to the success of MySpace, Facebook and Bebo.

While there isn’t a lot of information available and it’s currently all in ‘leak’ stages, here’s what we could compile based on what we found:

Yahoo!Yahoo! Mosh
It’s no secret that Yahoo! tried to buyout Facebook, Bebo and some others. And failed. So could this be their cold-hearted response? Currently, all we know about it is its name and the fact that its available to anyone inside Yahoo!’s offices at mosh.yahoo.com.

It’s worth noting that while Yahoo!’s 360 failed to popularize, it was nevertheless quite up to speed with its technologies. Whether Yahoo! Mosh is simply a re-brand with improvements or something completely new, it’s most probably going to live up to its rivals — considering Yahoo!’s past buyout “experiences” in this space.

SocialstreamGoogle Socialstream
In a similar way to Orkut‘s initial affiliation with Google [and the rebranding a year later], Socialstream is a Google-sponsored project by Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute. After putting a lot of research into the space, Socialstream’s goal is to be a USN, that is, ‘unified social network,’ which compiles information from many others and lets you navigate, access and aggregate them in a more seamless manner. A 5 minute-video demo of of the service is available here.

From what we can tell, it shares a slight Google feel to it and supports a superb interface — much more advanced than some of today’s ones. “Google-sponsored” doesn’t mean much, currently, although judging by the way it’s built and the information on their site, it seems like it’s going to be integrated with Google sometime in the future (we called it!).

Written by | dave

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  1. Brad

    July 9, 2007 at 10:00 am

    I hope these sites bring some true innovation to the social networking space. While MySpace and Facebook have been extremely and obviously successful, in some sense they feel incomplete to me. Facebook is doing some interesting things allowing developers to come up with all of these applications that run on their platform, so that’s a step in the right direction. But the question to me, really, is what are these sites fundamentally about?

    While it’s nice to be able to express my opinions, tastes, travel plans, and thoughts sites like these, the self-focused nature of these types of sites starts to wear thin pretty quickly. Do we really need more sites that allow me to blog, post photos and videos, and see what my friend is doing right this second (generally not that interesting)? I don’t think so. We need sites that are somehow — and I don’t know what the solution is here — truly innovating in this space, allowing users to do something more interesting than post random thoughts, join random and meaningless groups, and “poke” each other. More entries in this space — is that really a sustainable proposition? At some point, I think people are going to be hungry for more engaging functionality and more engaging content, no matter if Google, Yahoo, Facebook, or Myspace delivers it.

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