Yahoo is about to start making some aggressive moves again in the social networking arena according to a piece in Reuters today which quotes Yahoo Chief Technology Officer Ari Balogh who told Reuters “I can guarantee you there will be some acquisitions, and we will do some stuff in house.”
Yahoo is apparently looking to become a bigger player in social networking, and “revamp” its products, including search of course, according to the piece … and some social acquisitions will be part of that strategy. But exactly what will Yahoo be going after in the social world?
If the company is going after new social upstarts, don’t expect Twitter or Facebook to be part of the equation as they are far beyond the infancy stage and have developed into major players in the social market. I absolutely hope that they won’t go out and start buying copycat services like Plurk either, as such a strategy is probably destined for failure.
What would make more sense? I’d really like to see Yahoo going after sites which are a bit more geographically targeted or perhaps even demographically targeted. For example, BlackPlanet.com is the third most popular social network in the United States behind Facebook and MySpace, and growing. The site is also dependent on banner advertising, something Yahoo could easily move through its advertising network and also integrate into its Newspaper consortium planning.
Speaking of the Newspaper Consortium, wouldn’t it make sense for Yahoo to get their hands on something like Topix.com? Newspapers are failing and Topix is owned by the Tribune and Gannett. Yahoo is the future of newspapers, especially now since Google has decided NOT to get into the print business, and it would only make sense for the company to build its social network around its core content partnerships including News, Sports, Finance, Local and other key parts of Yahoo.
I’ve written many times how Yahoo dropped the ball on social networking a LONG TIME AGO when the company could have been a pioneer in social, it was too busy focusing on entertainment and holding back its own innovations. During that time, Google surged and Facebook emerged … leaving Yahoo in the dust and a predator of Microsoft.
So what is Yahoo’s next step and can they make up for lost ground and lost time?