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3GSM: Yahoo Intros Social Networking For Cellphones, Acquires Maven Networks

OneConnect extends Yahoo’s move to become more visible on cellphones and simplify the way friends stay in contact via data services. Scheduled for a Q2 launch, the platform aims to combine email, instant messaging (IM), text messaging (SMS), and social networks under one roof.

Yahoo said that the service will include a socially-connected address book, seamless integration of IM and SMS with threaded communications, status updates about contacts as well as a dynamic overview of the activities of friends, including recent photos, their status, profile updates, and recommendations based on their most recent actions on popular social networks. OneConnect will also offer a "favorites" feature, social contact cards to collect relevant information about people as well as a "location-sensing technology", which provides users with new ways to locate, chat, and exchange contact information with other oneConnect users, according to Yahoo.

Yahoo said that widgets will open the platform to a variety of email providers such as Yahoo Mail, MSN Hotmail, Gmail, and AOL Mail.

In separate news, Yahoo announced that it has acquired video platform provider Maven Networks for about $160 million. According to Yahoo, Maven’s platform is currently used to manage, distribute and monetize premium online video content for media companies, including Fox News, Sony BMG, CBS Sports, Hearst, Gannett, Scripps Networks, and the Financial Times.