MingleNow, one of the first few social networks to promote companies making their own social networking profiles, will be closing up its doors in early January. We wrote about the company at its late-2006 launch, and from the looks of site activity, things appeared to be doing reasonably well. While the company's blog post about the closure is ambiguous at best, a good guess would be that Yahoo (parent company of BlueLithium Labs) did not see much worth in maintaining a social network that directly competed with at least four of its other properties including Upcoming, Flickr, Mash, and Groups. It only got in that spot after picking up BlueLithium in early September to get its advertising technology.
The idea of MingleNow was to blend a social network with member profiles to those of local businesses. Members could post party pictures and tag them to events at local businesses, or find them the next day when they had been posted to the business profiles by whatever MingleNow photographer was at the event.
Admittedly, I was never fond of the site, but I do feel a little bad for its members who have just a few weeks to jettison their photos and contacts to other services. It would have been nice for them to provide some sort of escape hatch for their users, like what Yahoo photos did when it closed shop.