After a two-month pilot, Yahoo's Mixd mobile service has closed down. Mixd first came to light in November last year. It was a group mobile messaging tool for the youth market and had an experimental, trendy design. Currently the Mixd page has some farewell text on it and a pointer to the much more conservative UI of Yahoo Mobile.
Yahoo told Read/WriteWeb that from Mixd they "gained valuable insight about how youth communities socialize via mobile phones." Yahoo says they will incorporate group text messaging and multimedia sharing features into future Yahoo! mobile products.
When it comes down to it, Mixd was similar to Google's Dodgeball, which is also a mobile social networking product aimed at the youth market. While mobile is the medium of choice for many young people, it seems that none of the big Internet companies has gotten a decent foothold in that market yet. In our Oct 06 post about Dodgeball, some commenters noted that the Dodgeball service was stagnant and not going anywhere fast.
It may be that mobile social networking is a tough nut to crack, despite the very lucrative demographics (youth market).
R/WW author Emre Sokullu also points out that Mixd was the first service to be born from Yahoo, but announced as a separate brand - i.e. without the Yahoo prefix (Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Pipes etc). There are other services like this, e.g. Flickr and Upcoming.org, but they've been acquisitions rather than built in-house. So is this a sign that Yahoo's peanut butter manifesto is being enforced - i.e. Yahoo is cutting back on their product portfolio? Or is it simply a case of Yahoo experimenting with new types of UIs separately from the main brand, a la Google's SearchMash, then bringing them into the main product line when ready (in this case, Y! Mobile)?