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Yahoo! has launched a new social networking site, its second such foray into the field.

Mash is a new service from Yahoo! currently in beta mode. The social networking project can only be accessed by invite at present, and opened to a handful of users on 14 September.

The new project follows the failure of Yahoo! 360, the firm's previous effort at infiltrating the social networking sphere, to gain a significant foothold in the market.

Mash adds to the stable of Web 2.0 sites that have either been acquired or developed by Yahoo!. These include Flickr, the photo sharing service, del.icio.us, a website for sharing links on the internet and Upcoming.org, an event planning service.

This latest move is part of Yahoo!'s efforts to revitalise its internet business, which has suffered from slower growth relative to that of its chief rival, Google. Industry commentators have long suggested that Yahoo! look at moving into the social networking space in order to give its business the kick start it needs to compete more effectively.

Yahoo! is more than a little late to the social networking party though and has a lot of catching up to do with its fellow revellers who have impressed investors.

Facebook reportedly walked away from a $1bn offer from Yahoo! last year while MySpace was bought by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation for $580m in 2005.

© 2007 ENN

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