By Charlene Li
I’ve been playing with Y! 360 for a few hours and have to report that it’s a great start for the service. The profile is your standard social networking-like profile – you fill out basics like the movies and books that you like. You can see my 360 page here.
The blogging tool is also very basic. You can upload one photo (no files) and there’s a WYSIWYG editor. There are a few glitches and while it lacks many of the bells and whistles I’m used to on my Typepad blog, it gets the job done.
What was interesting is that I started seeing bits and pieces beginning to integrate from the Yahoo! network. I could easily upload photos from Yahoo! Photos, my groups were integrated in, and even reviews I did showed up.
What was really fun (OK, not so fun) was sending out invites to all of the people who had requested them (sorry, I’m out of them so far – turns out you only get 100). I noted something interesting there – a preponderance of gmail.com addresses. So I counted and this is what I got: 22% of requesters had Gmail accounts, 18% had a Yahoo! email address, and 3% had hotmail.com domains. Interestingly, there was one person with a Yahoo! email and MSN Spaces personal Web site – I have a feeling he/she will be changing that URL soon!
So kudos to Yahoo! for pulling it off. In my past conversations with various blogging and social networking players, many said that they were safe from portal entry because "large companies can't innovate". Well, MSN Spaces and Yahoo! 360 are proving them wrong -- while it's just a start, these services have the loyal base of users to build a large group of users very quickly...even if they aren't as sophisticated and innovative in their offerings right now.
By all means, keep adding your comments and thoughts about the Yahoo service, especially as it compares to other blogging and social networking competitors.