Cisco developing social networking software

Cisco has begun developing software to help create social networking websites that let groups communicate, chief development officer Charlie Giancarlo said on Tuesday.

Cisco recently purchased Utah Street Networks, which owned the technology behind pioneering social network site tribe.net, and also bought Five Across, a company that provides software for building social networks on sites such as the National Hockey League’s NHL.com.

The leading telecommunications network equipment maker is also in the process of closing a $2.9 billion purchase of WebEx Communications, which provides video-conferencing for businesses.

The combination of assets could help Cisco enable social networking sites both for consumers and businesses.

‘There are a set of capabilities we’re working on we believe will help enable social networking and help information find people rather than people find information,’ Giancarlo told the Reuters’ Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in New York.

‘That’s something we’re pursuing very aggressively,’ he said, without giving details.

While popular networking sites such as MySpace would have enough resources to run their own website, Giancarlo said his company would likely target smaller services.

Giancarlo ruled out Cisco developing its own social network site for consumers.

‘We are not going to become a retail social networking site directly dealing with consumers on the Internet,’ he said, noting that there had been speculation Cisco would get into this space.

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