Google may be developing a Facebook rival

Google Inc. is in talks with several developers of 'Social' games and is said to be launching a competitive service to the social networking giant, Facebook.

The list of developers includes Playdom, Electronic Arts's Playfish and Zynga Game Network — a company in which Google recently took a financial stake in, which may be an indication of things to come.

Although the service, rumored to be called "Google Me", has no firm date, it is said to be in development from the developers in Mountain View California. Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt declined to confirm the rumors about "Google Me", but when questioned further about whether the rumored service would be similar to Facebook Eric Schmidt had this to say: "the world doesn't need a copy of the same thing."

Implying, that if the service was real, the direction Google takes it, may be different to how the current social networking sites do things. It is no surprise that Google wants a slice of the social networking pie, with companies like Facebook and Twitter having millions of daily users.

Earlier this week, Walt Disney acquired Playdom for a massive $563.2 million, and promised a further $200 million if their performance targets are reached. This is proof of the massive money that can be made in the social networking industry. With developers paying Facebook 30% of all earnings from the purchases made within the games, this is a huge amount of money that Google wants apart of.

If this turns out to be true, it will be the newest attempt for the Web-search leader to break into the social networking scene, which would be useful for the game developers. For the companies to have another space for them to place their games, it allows more flexibility in funds, as well as enable broader reach for the games, as opposed to relying on Facebook 100%.

Facebook released a statement in response to Google's possible service, saying that the company "looks forward to seeing what others have to offer." With social networking being a billion dollar industry in China and Japan, and a $700 million dollar industry for the US, it is not surprise that Google tried to enter the scene with 'Buzz' in February of this year. With the release shrouded with privacy issues, the company has stated that it is only the beginning of Google's Social Networking services.

With the rumor that Facebook might launch a competitor to Google's, AdSense,which generates a large percentage of all Google's profits, giving it Billions of dollars every quarter. It is clear that the rivalry between the two companies is getting fiercer, so it would make it even more competitive if Google launched it's own Networking service.

For many years now, iGoogle has been allowing very simplistic casual games to be put into your own Google page. So the 'Google Me' service may just be a new updated version of iGoogle, or even just a re-launched Buzz service, though none of this is certain.

Google's, Eric Schmidt, said that Google and Facebook compliment each other, "Facebook users use more Google products than any other users."

Only time will tell if "Google Me" is real, but it will probably coincide with the announcement of partnership with Zynga games, which is said to be announced at some point in the near future.

Image Credit: Google Inc.

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30 Comments

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I'm getting bored of all these social thingies. Too many choices isn't always good for the consumer, especially in the social business where your friends are scatered across multiple services. I think making a cool web app that consolidates all the current services would be better, like what MSFT are doing with Live, but nicer.

HELLO GOOGLE..Since you are biggest player in search,youtube,maps--apply it into your own social network because GOOGLE got the advantage to tweak things around their product to fits their new social network (If IT"S TRUE)! Although we can still share many stuff in facebook,but google can take it even further with their own service that they control....maybe it can work even smarter!!

Something like Apple Hardware and Software Couple Together (Perfectly Suite)

Google need to learn this trick by making it into |Social Network|

Good luck Google. I loved Wave, I loved Buzz... I really hope I love gMe, too! I hope they find a way to incorporate some of Orkut, Wave, Buzz, Profiles, and all their other services into one amazing site that will finally cut down the overrated Facebook crap.

Decaytion said,
Good luck Google. I loved Wave, I loved Buzz... I really hope I love gMe, too! I hope they find a way to incorporate some of Orkut, Wave, Buzz, Profiles, and all their other services into one amazing site that will finally cut down the overrated Facebook crap.

I think the future is a RESTful service where users subscribe to modules from various providers based on the features they need. Then MS, Google, etc. would simply provide a variety of front ends for managing and integrating the service components. A-la-carte social networking.

Cripe!!

That makes it hard to determine which I would hate more!!
Definitely hate Facebook anyway, and can't stand Google just because it's a fan boy favorite!!
Google is WAY over rated, IMO.

cork1958 said,
Cripe!!
That makes it hard to determine which I would hate more!!
Definitely hate Facebook anyway, and can't stand Google just because it's a fan boy favorite!!
Google is WAY over rated, IMO.

Yeah, Google Voice is the only service I use today that I'd miss. Everything else has a competitor that's as good in features but better in privacy, or just plain better. Google Goggles seems neat but it seems that Bing is hot on their heels with some similar features in their new iPhone app so we'll see.

Decaytion said,

Take your tin foil hat off!

It'd be tinfoil if it weren't backed by Google policy and repeated statements by Google's CEO that if you care about privacy then you shouldn't use Google products.

I think the headline should be Google developing "another" facebook rival! (Orkut, Profiles, Wave, Buzz and now this...)

WHY? Just leave FB alone. God I'm sick of companies trying to tap into this money stream. FB isn't going to roll over and die like other things that Google has destroyed. There is room for FB. That's it.

I think Google will succeed in the end. Weather or not it is Google Me or something else.

Google are large enough cash wise to be able to flop several times before getting it right. Most companies can't afford that and so don't bother trying. To big a financial risk to do so.

The other issue here is the amount of privacy and security issues that Facebook has had and is having. If Google or anyone else can get a better alternative out there, we might actually have a choice to get out of Facebook and onto something else.

I know that some of you will be saying "don't like it then don't visit" but as we all know that is like saying not to have email or even Internet full stop. Not 100% pessary but is the easiest and best method for keeping in touch with friends and family indirectly.

eangulus said,
I think Google will succeed in the end. Weather or not it is Google Me or something else.

Google are large enough cash wise to be able to flop several times before getting it right. Most companies can't afford that and so don't bother trying. To big a financial risk to do so.

The other issue here is the amount of privacy and security issues that Facebook has had and is having. If Google or anyone else can get a better alternative out there, we might actually have a choice to get out of Facebook and onto something else.

I know that some of you will be saying "don't like it then don't visit" but as we all know that is like saying not to have email or even Internet full stop. Not 100% pessary but is the easiest and best method for keeping in touch with friends and family indirectly.


I'm not sure Google would have better privacy

vice le von said,
Goodluck Google. I've began to stop using most google services and switched to Live.

Yeah, I use Live to interact with Facebook, MySpace, and a host of other social networks that Live integrates. Ideally we'll see a host of social networks that can plug in with all others. That way a Google user can talk to Facebook and Live network people seamlessly and bidirectionally. One cool thing about the Live approach is that this fall Live Messenger will support Facebook IM from within the chat client.

I have all of my Gmail forwarded to the new Hotmail, then I use "Sweep" to route my messages. The Live integration with my mobile kind of makes it my de-facto messaging hub.

spacer said,
Oh God, not another social networking site. Please, please let this be nothing more than a rumor.

Why? Perhaps it's going to be better than facebook? And last I check usuage was not mandatory, so don't visit the website? Like I don't like certain types of , well something, so I don't visit those sites.

spacer said,
Oh God, not another social networking site. Please, please let this be nothing more than a rumor.

+1

The world's content and happy with Facebook, no need to switch.

andrewbares said,

+1

The world's content and happy with Facebook, no need to switch.

What's the point? Both the companies don't believe in privacy so might as well join and perhaps, facebook might happen to be the next myspace?

Yeah, they've been trying to do a social network for a while. Wave and Buzz kinda flopped, and this one will unless they come up with something unique.

amon91 said,
Yeah, they've been trying to do a social network for a while. Wave and Buzz kinda flopped, and this one will unless they come up with something unique.

Don't forget the Orkut flop.

/- Razorfold said,
Wasn't the BPN article regarding this topic closed a couple of hours ago because it was already posted on the front page =/

No, similar but not the same. When we looked to see if it was posted already, we found hadn't reported on yet.

Edited by shockz, Jul 29 2010, 2:48am :

Blasius said,

No, similar but not the same. When we looked to see if it was posted already, we found hadn't reported on yet.

Then at least source the BPN that you received the article from. [via iWinUX] or whatever you guys do.