Home Yahoo Meme: Hands On With Yahoo’s Twitter ‘Clone’

Yahoo Meme: Hands On With Yahoo’s Twitter ‘Clone’

A few weeks ago, we heard that Yahoo was readying a Portuguese-only Twitter clone under the name Yahoo Meme. Today, we finally got our invitation to try this new service, and while it is indeed an interesting micro-blogging service, we wouldn’t go as far as calling it a “Twitter killer.” Instead of cloning Twitter’s communications features like @ replies and direct messages, Meme goes back to the basics of micro-blogging. Users can upload photos and post text (without a 140 character limit), YouTube videos (just copy and paste the URL), and links to MP3 files.

Meme is currently in private beta testing and it is unclear when it will be publicly available.

Core Feature: Repost

Meme uses the same one-way follow system as Twitter, and items from users you follow will appear in your stream, mixed in with your own items. Interestingly, users can also comment on links and stories from users they do not follow, but Yahoo Meme puts an interesting twist on the commenting system, though. One of the central features of Meme is the ability to ‘repost‘ (in Twitter parlance, this would be a retweet). The repost button (and not a comment button) appears next to every post, photo, video, or MP3 file. In order to comment on a story, you have to repost the story to your own feed.

At first, this system feels a bit odd – after all, you might not necessarily want to share every item you comment on in your own feed – but it turns out to be a great way to discover new users to follow. Especially, because every repost comes with a link to the person you reposted it from, and a link to the user who originally posted it to Meme as well.

Some Features We Would Like to See

Obviosuly, Meme is only a beta product and it misses a number of features that we would love to see. It would be great, for example, if we could actually upload MP3s instead of having to find a link to a file, or if Meme accepted videos from other video services besides YouTube. We would also love to see a bookmarklet or plugin that would allow us to share items without having to copy and paste links. Unlike most of Yahoo’s products, Meme doesn’t have an API yet, so third-party developers can’t write new desktop and web tools for it yet.

As of now, Meme does not feature any privacy controls – everything you post on Meme is automatically visible for every other member on the service.

Only In Portuguese For Now – What About the Rest of the World?

Given the generic name and address (meme.yahoo.com), we would not be surprised if Yahoo was testing meme in the Portuguese-speaking market before rolling it out to for more languages. If you want to give it a try, however, the features are self-explaining enough so that you don’t really need to speak Portuguese to use it.

Back to Basics

After using Meme for a while, it doesn’t quite seem right to call it a Twitter clone. Instead, Yahoo Meme is really more of a back-to-basics micro-blogging service that feels a lot more like Posterous or Tumblr than Twitter.

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