Over the weekend there was a lot of buzz about the new Yahoo social network, Mash. Many are hyping it up to a Facebook competitor, as they rightfully should. I had the opportunity to test out the new site which is currently in beta. I immediately started running in to issues as soon as I started interacting with the site. Rather then deconstructing the site, let me say that it needs some serious modifications to make it a serious competitor.
The launch of the site does illustrate one thing: Facebook has become the standard to duplicate when creating your own social network. Any new social network is going to need a news feed as well as a platform for developers. Mash embraced the majority of Facebook’s core features. Aside from the fact that it looks horrible, they are going in the right direction. Ultimately any successful social network is going to be forced to become a platform and there are only a few platforms that will be able to compete.
Yahoo is one of a handful of social networks that have stated their intention to open platforms. What they’ve released so far though doesn’t place them in a leadership position. I will be interested to see how they evolve.