Yahoo launch it’s Brand Universe – a move toward social media?

Yahoo announced Tuesday that it planned to develop individual sites that will evolve around 100 different entertainment brands, called the Brand Universe. Yahoo is planning to launch all of these 100 different sites this year.

This branding will help attract communities of interest to Yahoo’s branded sites which will include movies, television shows, bands, celebrities, games and other types of entertainment. Yahoo will continue to brand with out without the approval of these brands.

Vince Broady head of games, entertainment and youth at Yahoo said on Tuesday, “We don’t connect the dots for our users around those brands. Brand Universe is designed to fix that problem. What we are really trying to do is create environments where fans of brands can hang out when they are online.”

Yahoo has already launched wii.yahoo.com and on Tuesday it launched another six. This shouldn’t be surprise to all of you who have been following the growth in vertical search and growth in social media sites such as digg and reddit.

Yahoo is trying to move into this market with the wealth of information they already have. Yahoo will add contents from other bookmarking sites such asdel.icio.us, flickr and other properties of Yahoo.

It is not clear how Yahoo will profit from the Brand Universe but they claim to have received well over 1 million page views for the wii.yahoo.com site in December. Well we all know that traffic brings money. This means Yahoo is trying to keep their visitors in house rather than sending them over to other social media. In the last 20 months, Web 2.0 has picked up with the whole game of social media.

Many people spent time at sites such as digg.com which dominates the social media in technology news. Netscape recently launched their own version of social media which covers a wide range of topics. These branding exercise from Yahoo seems like they want to get into niche social media market with their existing user base.

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