Yahoo Invites Us Into Mash, Its New Social Network

A little more than two months after we first reported rumors about Yahoo’s new social network Mosh, the company has given us a preview of a social network with a slightly different name: Mash.

The service includes features common to Facebook, MySpace, and My Yahoo. You can load a set of modules onto your profile page and move them around drag-and-drop style. The modules include Flickr RSS, Ego Boost, Common Friends, MyMoshLog2, Blog Module (RSS 2.0), Asteroids, Astrology, PimpMyPet, Hover, Kaleidescope, Guestbook, and My Stuff.

The modules gallery also states that “in the coming months we’re going to open up our module development platform to 3rd party developers,” which suggests that Mash will be following in Facebook’s footsteps at least to some extent (it will be interesting to see whether there will be canvas-like pages, too).

Users are encouraged to edit each other’s pages. Each time we visit our profile page, we are seeing new modules that others have loaded for us. This capability certainly adds to the “mashing” aspect of the social network. It is also appears as though Yahoo intends for users to mash their information together from across the company’s various properties, perhaps making Mash the main hub for Yahoo users.

While profile pages appear to have a pretty consistent structural layout (like Facebook), users can customize the design of their pages by changing colors and inserting background images (like MySpace).

Mash also has something called Pulse, which is very similar to Facebook’s news feed. The Pulse page shows “updates from your friends” that are basically Twitter-like messages reporting all of your friends’ activity on Mash.

Unfortunately, it looks like Mash lacks a vital feature of Facebook: search. In the top right of every Mash page there is a search box for regular Yahoo search, but that appears to be it.

Yahoo is calling Mash the next generation of profiles and has plans to roll it out quietly. Mash users can invite their friends into the network, so we’ll be getting a section for Mash up on InviteShare shortly (Update: We have set up an InviteShare page for Mash here). When you invite a friend into Mash, you can create a profile for them that they can choose to adopt or not.

Mash appears to be Yahoo!’s way of saying adieu to its existing social network, Yahoo! 360, but no word yet on whether the company will actually be shutting down 360.

Mash’s blog can be found here.

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