The media giant has transformed its Tagworld investment into Flux, a distributed social-networking platform that bears an interesting resemblance to a start-up that Yahoo bought last year.
We reported on Thursday that MTV Networks was close to announcing plans for a new social network; later that night, Fortune unveiled more details of the project. This is a new Viacom (MTV Networks parent company) endeavor called Flux, which is growing out of what once was Tagworld. Rather than being a "destination" social network, Flux is a distributed platform of social-media features that will be installed on select Viacom niche sites (like the Subterranean Blog, which we pointed out in our original post). It's powered by Social Project, the company formerly known as Tagworld, which Viacom invested in last year.
What this really resembles is MyBlogLog, the start-up purchased by Yahoo that adds social-networking features to blogs by letting visitors see who else is reading a site. It appears that Flux, however, will have stronger social features; it also won't be restricted to MTV Networks. A note on Flux.com says the platform "is robust enough for large media companies, such as MTV Networks, and flexible enough for influencer blog sites like Aquarium Drunkard, Vinyl Pulse and X1." We smell advertising opportunities.
Some Viacom divisions are also launching smaller social-networking initiatives; MTV's Think MTV activism-oriented vertical site, for example, now allows interested users to sign up for the beta version of a community site. It's not clear whether these will be Flux-ified or not.