Yahoo to launch social network aggregator for mobiles

Yahoo is working on a new service for mobile phones that will allow users to access their IM conversations and view their social networking updates from a single source.

Called oneConnect, the new service aggregates an individual user’s preferred social networking sites and instant-messaging facilities to a single panel on the oneConnect site, allowing users to access all their updates and conversations from one place.

In practical terms this means the users will be able to use their mobile to see which of their Facebook, Bebo and MySpace friends are doing what, with who and where. It’ll also keep track and archive any ongoing Yahoo Messenger or Google Gmail instant message conversations.

It sounds great in theory, and not entirely unlike what 8hands and OtherEgo are already doing for keen social networkers on their broadband-connected laptop and desktop PCs. But will the same idea take off on mobile phones?

We’re not entirely convinced the vast majority of punters will really want to pay the extortionate mobile data rates for the kind of information that generally changes hands on social networking sites.

In other words, are users really going to want to pay through the nose to suffer a barrage of useless information about which of their friends has just added a zombie application and who’s just joined the Jeremy Clarkson Should Die a Traitor's Death Facebook group?

And of course, the idea of fiddling about with a numerical phone keyboard to hold protracted IM sessions with your mates sounds like a lot of hard work for little in return too. Why not just send a simple text, or better still, make a quick telephone call?