Yahoo Mashes up Social Networking

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Yahoo’s drawer of services, offering everything from stock quotes to movie times and maps, got a little bigger last week with the introduction of a new experimental social-networking site. Currently in an invite-only alpha test, Yahoo Mash will differ from traditional social networking sites like Facebook by trying to inject some humor into the process of creating and maintaining a profile.

For instance, initial users will not only be asked for their names, they’ll also need to pick celebrity look-alikes. Once they create their profiles, other users can come by and change the color schemes for fun, or even a feed a Tamagotchi-like cartoon figure. Since the company claims Mash is still in a very rudimentary early form, it’s tough to see exactly where they’re taking it, but trendy, malleable and funny seem to be the orders of the day.

Yahoo hasn’t yet announced whether Mash will replace its Yahoo 360 social networking service. Those eager to get on-board with the first round of Mash users will have to wait for a coveted invite – only the Mash blog is currently available for public viewing.