Yahoo adds wiki twist to Mash

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Yahoo has unveiled the first public version of its Mash social networking site.

Unlike other social networking sites in which users maintain their own profiles, Yahoo Mash allows users to edit profiles for friends.

Sites such as Facebook and MySpace allow users to invite friends, who then create their own profiles. With the current beta version of Mash, users invite friends by creating their profiles.

The concept is similar to a wiki, where any number of users can edit a single page or article. Users will have the ability to limit editing permissions, allowing only friends to make changes or revoking the ability to edit the page altogether.

Users will also have the ability to customise the page with in-house and third-party add-ons, similar to those in Facebook.

The default profile includes a 'Mash pet' application as well as a short questionnaire and video-sharing space. Yahoo hopes to include more applications as the service nears its release.

Mash had been accessible only to Yahoo employees as a closed beta service when a New York Times reporter was accidentally notified of the service on 12 September. Two days later, the invitation-only beta version was launched.

Rumours connecting Yahoo to a social networking site have been circulating for months.

The company reportedly made an unsuccessful $1bn bid to acquire Facebook last year, and reports surfaced in May that Yahoo made a similar bid for Bebo.

Mash is Yahoo's first venture into a dedicated social networking site, but the company has several products with similar sharing and networking functions.

Yahoo owns the Flickr photo-sharing site and Del.icio.us link-sharing service, as well as the Yahoo 360 blog network and Yahoo Video movie-sharing site.
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