The soon-to-be-shuttered Yahoo Mash is not Yahoo's first failed social network. It's also not its second, third, or fourth. It took one whole hand for us to count Big Purple's failed attempts to get social, either through mergers or in-house development, below.
Born on March 16, 2005 as "an innovative and engaging way for people to share their lives, leverage their community and get the most out of their online experience," according to Yahoo's then-COO Dan Rosensweig, Yahoo 360 isn't technically dead yet. But it's proved unpopular enough for Yahoo to try to replace it at least four times with the social networks listed below.
Yahoo tried to replace 360 by offering $1 billion for Facebook in the summer of 2006. Mark Zuckerberg almost took the deal — but then Yahoo CEO Terry Semel scotched the deal by cutting the price. That's when Mark's sister Randi sang "Fuck you, Yahoo, they're going IPO!"
Yahoo began talks with also-ran social network Bebo, reportedly offering to buy it for $1 billion in May 2007. The deal never happened. AOL bought Bebo for $850 million earlier this year.
Less than a year ago came Yahoo Mash, a social network that allowed a user's friends to "mess" with each other's pages like they were Wikipedia entries. Eventually, Yahoo's Terrell Karlsten told Wired in October 2007, "it will become a feature inside other services. For example, it's possible that you'll log into Yahoo Mail and see your profile along with all of your friends' profiles in your contact list."
In November 2007, Yahoo launched a LInkedIn-like site for recent college graduates called Kickstart. But by January 2008, site lead Scott Gatz had already left the company and management began to cut Kickstart's marketing budget because no one was signing up.