An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

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July 28, 2010

A New Social Google Service?

There's a lot of speculation about a new Google service called "Google Me" that is supposed to compete with Facebook. Most likely, the service will expand the already existing profiles and activity streams, while adding support for social apps.

Wall Street Journal reports that Google has been in discussion with companies that develop social games for Facebook. "Google is in talks with several makers of popular online games as it seeks to develop a broader social-networking service that could compete with Facebook, according to people familiar with the matter."

Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, said that "the world doesn't need a copy of the same thing", suggesting that Google won't try to imitate Facebook. It's clear that Google hasn't anticipated Facebook's success, placed losing bets and efforts like OpenSocial couldn't save Facebook's competitors from extinction.

Now that people spend a lot of time online using Facebook and find information filtered by their friends, even Google's search engine can become less useful. A lot of information is trapped inside Facebook: social connections, status messages, discussions and Google can't use most of the data to improve the relevance of search results.

Google has been more concerned with creating open standards for building social apps, for delivering real-time notifications, for public preferences, aggregating social graph data, but it didn't manage to build a coherent user experience that links all these pieces.


  1. When you say "a lot of information is trapped inside Facebook", what kind of information were you referring to?

    Most of the time, people are just randomly shouting craps out of their emotions OR just posting about their party/travel plans and photos.

    I don't search them when I do a Google search. I use Google for information, not the random shout-outs from friends.

  2. Facebook is dumb, it's just a platform to post random stuff and photos. People there are boring, they only know like/dislike, they have no original thoughts. I wish there're more specialized social network websites like deviantart. But it seems if you want to be the most popular, you have to be dumb. Good luck Google.

  3. @Justin, There is a lot of information in Facebook that would be relevant to Google searches. A good portion of facebook users post information on upcoming events in their area, what they thought of a movie or restaurant, etc. A Google search I perform about Knight and Day for example will be more helpful if it also shows my friends' comments about it &/or whether or not they are looking for someone to see it with. I believe that for this reason and so much more, Google is interested in collective public information.

    And to the commentor that thinks Facebook is dumb: you obviously don't see the whole picture, so save your breath. Let the sophisticated ones speak here.


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