Yahoo to Join Blogosphere With Beta

Following the success of MSN's Spaces, Yahoo has announced its own plans for a blog service called Yahoo 360. The service will not be available to testers until March 29; however, several media outlets got wind of the new offering after a source within the company leaked details of its features.

Yahoo says 360 was built in response to feedback from its users that said they wanted a way to keep in touch without exposing themselves online to people they did not know.

Yahoo plans to open up testing to a small group of its users who will then be able to invite friends to the 360 service - similar to the way Google has rolled out Gmail.

Users will be able to get content from the site's various services as well as create their own. Yahoo also hopes to use 360 as a way for people with similar interests to network.

MSN, Google, Ask Jeeves and Lycos have all joined the recent blogging craze. A recent survey showed that nearly one in four Internet users read blogs, yet only 7 percent write them. Yahoo's large user base -- some 30 million visitors passed through its site last month alone -- may make blogging more accessible to the masses.

Yahoo did not say how it would choose beta testers for 360, or when it plans to release the service to the public. Interested bloggers can sign up to be notified about the beta.

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