AOL may be preparing to launch a Myspace-type social network sometime in the next few weeks, says Dave Winer.
This went from rumor to “confirmed likely” in posts and comments by Jason Calacanis and Jordan Running (also here) (both now at AOL). A comment in the last link suggests that the new service will be open to non AOL members.
This market is red hot. Mature players like Facebook and Fox-owned Myspace basically own their respective categories, and better-featured (and funded to the hilt) newcomers like Tagworld and Tagged gunning for the big guys. Even aging Friendster, mostly written off as living dead, has made a recent (if quiet) comeback based on Alexa stats. Fickle teenagers and young adults are quick to jump ship to the hot new thing, but these existing players will certainly not lie down for AOL.
We’ll have more on this as it develops.