Yahoo Exec: We Must Improve Social Net Impact

Yahoo Inc. must leverage its multiple Web sites and services to gain a stronger position in social networking, a company executive said Wednesday.

Yahoo's social-networking service Yahoo 360 hasn't attained the position the company expected, but Yahoo has a strong collection of social Web properties, said Jeff Weiner, executive vice president of Yahoo's network division.

Those social Web properties include the Flickr photo-sharing site, the del.icio.us social-bookmarking site, the Yahoo Answers question-and-answer search engine and the Yahoo Groups discussion forum service.

"We have to pull it together," Weiner said during a keynote at the Web 2.0 Expo on Wednesday in San Francisco, during which he answered questions from conference chairman John Battelle.

This isn't the first time a high-ranking Yahoo executive has publicly acknowledged the company's dissatisfaction with Yahoo 360 and the need for the company to improve its position in a market ruled by service providers like MySpace, Facebook and Friendster.

In November at Web 2.0 Expo's sister event, the Web 2.0 Summit, Yahoo Vice President of Advanced Development Bradley Horowitz said the company might remake Yahoo 360, which was introduced in March 2005.

Last year there were insistent rumors that Yahoo was shopping around for a social-networking site and that it held conversations with Facebook that didn't yield a deal.

Weiner said he is accountable for improving Yahoo's position in social networking. He didn't provide details about how Yahoo might go about leveraging these collection of social media sites to better compete in social networking.

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