Bloggers are reporting that Google and Yahoo are working on new social networks now that their existing services (Orkut and 360, respectively) have failed to gain traction, except in Brazil in Orkut's case.
Google sponsored a project last year at Carnegie Mellon University's Human-Computer Interaction Institute that was designed to "rethink and reinvent online social networking," the Google Operating System blog reported. The site also has screenshots. Dubbed "Socialstream," the service would be more like a unified social network that would allow someone to have accounts on multiple services but centralized contacts in one location.
That would be pretty nifty. I'm personally sick of having to log on to different social networks to interact with friends, who are spread out across the gamut of services.
Meanwhile, at Yahoo there is a project called "Mosh," according to TechCrunch. The posting was updated with a job description for a summer intern spot at Yahoo on a "cool new social network product." According to the post, Yahoo's looking for someone with lots of friends on MySpace and Facebook and who is "damn funny."
Representatives from Google did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment on the report. A Yahoo spokeswoman said: "We recently gave our employees the chance to test out an alpha service, which will help people benefit from the social web. We do not have any other details to share at the moment, but we will be sure to keep you apprised of our efforts."
Microsoft, for its part, has talked about a couple of strategies, including making Windows Live Messenger more social network-like as well as creating some kind of meta-social network where people could centralize multiple existing networks.
UPDATE 11:50 a.m. PT, July 10: Google e-mailed a statement on Tuesday morning. "The Socialstream concept was created by Carnegie Mellon students as a result of their research into social networking. The project that led to the Socialstream concept concluded in 2006, and it is not part of any current product roadmap," the statement said.