The circle is closing for the Lycos social networking service.
Next month, Lycos will close Circles, a service which has been in beta, or test, mode since October of last year. The company plans to replace it with a similar service imported from its South Korean parent company Daum Communications.
Users were informed of Circles' demise via a note posted on the Circles home page and sent to Circles testers via e-mail.
"Thank you for taking part in the Beta test of Lycos Circles. Please be aware that the Lycos Circles Beta Test will end on September
17, 2005," the note reads. "At that time, the Lycos Circles website will be disabled and the posted content will be deleted."
Users who have registered for Circles should hurry and save whatever content they have uploaded to the service before it disappears when Circles closes, the notice reads.
Circles' replacement will be called Planet and will be modeled after Daum's service of the same name. It will be adapted to a U.S. audience, a Lycos spokeswoman said.
For example, the U.S. Planet will incorporate a number of Circles features that received good feedback during the Circles trial run, she said. Lycos plans to officially launch Planet in the U.S. in mid-September, she said.
The spokeswoman couldn't immediately say how many people had registered with Circles, which lets users share a variety of things via the site, including text, photos, video and audio clips and greeting cards.
Lycos called the service Circles because it lets users define different groups of acquaintances, such as a group of co-workers, a group of family members, a group of neighbors and a group of school parents. What the user shares with each group can be established independently of the other groups, or can overlap more than one group.
Circles competes with services such as Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Spaces and Yahoo Inc.'s Yahoo 360 which combine social networking, Web logging, photo sharing, Web mail, instant messaging and other complementary online services.
Lycos unfurls Circles social networking site, Oct. 13, 2004