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[qi:034] Over on The New York Times’ Bits Blog, Saul Hansell writes that both Google and Yahoo are thinking about using email as a backbone of a social environment. About time, is what I would like to say, and what took you so long, for crying […]

[qi:034] Over on The New York Times’ Bits Blog, Saul Hansell writes that both Google and Yahoo are thinking about using email as a backbone of a social environment. About time, is what I would like to say, and what took you so long, for crying out loud.

I had talked about this very same concept back in September: Is Email The Ultimate Social Environment? While Yahoo and Google are still talking about it, one start-up, Xoopit has already done it, and another one, Xobni, is well on its way to making that a reality.

While it is great to hear what Yahoo and Google want to turn email-into-a-social-environement, I won’t hold my breath to see something happen. Yahoo, apparently had plans to make email social a while ago, but tossed out the idea. So why would this time be any different? Yahoo and Google seem to have good intentions, but they would be better if backed by hard facts: like when will these features actually materialize for real!

  1. great comment mate — agree email is the critical tool for communication and give liberty of hiding yourself in a think curtain i.e. reveal everything without an ugly raw..

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  2. Did you mean to describe Xoobit and Xobni inversely?

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  3. Om – it’s good to see Google and Yahoo finally realizing the email potential. Email is now getting it’s due respect in the social networking ecosystem.

    There are many more startups who are quietly working and innovating in this space. Coming 6months to one year will be exciting for this space.

    Brij
    http://www.messagedance.com

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  4. hey om, thanks for the shouts out. a new look to your mail, coming right up. if you are interested in checking out our service, we would love your feedback. gigaom readers can request a signup code here:

    http://xoopit.com/gigaom/

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  5. Yahoo and Google open up their email inbox?

    Saul Hansell’s post at NYTimes has put email at the center of social networking evolution. “Inbox 2.0 Yahoo and Google to Turn Email into a Social Network” talks about  how Yahoo and Google plan to turn their email user base into ric…

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  6. email for whom? you are clearly not talking about the under 18 crowd because for those kids emailing is an onerous task…

    gmail integrating some of those meebo-esque features is nice, but google integrating calls to any networking site using open social is the real move, and yahoo will get dogged again (i think)

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  7. Om,

    Yahoo’s been using mail in the social space for years. They just haven’t limited it to THEIR mail service. Yahoo Groups is probably the largest aggregated social network in the world, and it is based almost entirely on email exchanges.

    Now I would admit that they have done little to innovate with a service that has been riding the power of email for years, but that doesn’t take away the fact that Yahoo Groups are social networks, and they are built via email.

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  8. Social networking sites are indeed too public for most activities with one’s inner circle of friends and family. While such sites are useful for meeting new people or reconnecting with old contacts, most social interactions with an inner circle of friends and family occur over email. For that email has a big role to play.

    That is our belief at Innercircle.cc which makes it easy to connect and share things privately with your personal groups via email.

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  9. i have been saying this since i saw myspace.
    if yahoo and gmail play their cards correctly they might hurt site like myspace and facebook.
    just imagine, you dont have to invite anyone… they are already in your network.
    simply brilliant.

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  10. Hey Om,

    We’re looking forward to expanding the Xobni beta to a wider audience soon. The response so far has been awesome. Readers can sign up at http://www.xobni.com

    Cheers,
    Matt
    Co-founder, Xobni

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