Google not building Facebook rival, says exec

Google's head of mobile product development has ruled out building a Facebook clone, but did not deny the search giant is looking to enter the social networking game.

According to Reuters, Hugo Barra made the comments in response to a question at the Monaco Media Forum, and implied any foray into social networking would be different to existing sites.

"We're not working on a social network platform that's just going to be another social network platform," he said.

Mr Barra agreed that social integration would be important for Google's search and advertising businesses in particular and said the company was ''thinking about the problem''.

Rumours of a Google-powered social network first emerged in June this year when Digg's Kevin Rose tweeted that the search giant was preparing to launch the crudely-named ''Google Me''. The rumours grew louder when former Facebook CTO Adam D'Angelo weighed in via his Q&A site Quora, declaring that not only was ''Google Me'' real, it was a ''high-priority project'' within Google.

Google's ownership of social network Orkut, which is popular in Brazil and India, was also used as evidence of the Big G's intention to branch out into a dedicated social network.

Google Buzz, the company's first foray into social networking, sparked a storm of controversy after users complained the service violated their privacy.

In September, Google agreed to pay $8.5 million to a fund for organizations focusing on Internet privacy policy or education as a result of a class action suit brought by Gmail users over Google Buzz.

Meantime, CNN Money has reported that the leaker who provided Business Insider with details of a 10 per cent pay rise and bonus payment to all Google employees earlier this week has been sacked.

Google reportedly notified all staff just hours after the leak that the individual responsible had been terminated. A Google spokesman declined to comment on the matter.

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17 Comments

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The gig that I wish the Big G would venture into is Fantasy Sports. I have a feeling they would come up with a system that has a really simple, easy to use interface with tonnes of features, and would use the power of their search capabilities to provide users with all the content about the players in each sport that they can handle.

kenboldt said,
The gig that I wish the Big G would venture into is Fantasy Sports. I have a feeling they would come up with a system that has a really simple, easy to use interface with tonnes of features, and would use the power of their search capabilities to provide users with all the content about the players in each sport that they can handle.

http://www.bing.com/visualsear...=nfl_players&ve=dataset-(0138)&qpvt=fantasy+football&FORM=Z7FD1#

"Google's head of mobile product development has ruled out building a Facebook clone, but did not deny the search giant is looking to enter the social networking game.", translates into:
We're building a clone, with some added features and deny any similarity so we don't need to compete against an overmighty rival.

Sweet huh?

Well then again, there's the possiblity that they WILL be totally different. I do not deny it, but seriously, what can you seriously do differently? You can add, but not reinvent the wheel, it will still be a competitor, and oh boy, Facebook WILL counter if you add good stuff.
They will counter soon, along with the usual chat instabilities

I'm open towards good results.

GS:mac

They already did with Google Buzz, and like most of their stuff, it flopped.

Google has great developers with some pretty darn cool ideas. But I've come to the point where I think they may be the type of developers that are too smart. They do not know how to make things usable for the rest of us, nor do they think about common use-cases.

Their best services:

Search - Obvious and simple
Gmail - Simple, obvious replacement for email.
Google Maps - Simple, obvious design (if you can't figure out a map then you aren't going to be able to use someone else's service anyway). I prefer Bing Maps results (especially traffic updates!), but Google Maps is still a solid product.
Chrome - A solid browser that has led to increased competition. I have no ties to the browser since it crashes so frequently though (and rarely is it the convenient single-tab crash, as a separate process-per-tab browser should).

Google needs to stick to it's own thing, srsly do they need yet another failed product? Outside of Search only gmail and maps seem to be something people care about using a lot. Well, and chrome it seems but I don't count that since we're talking about services.

Trying to take on Facebook in any sorta way will get you nowhere, you need to come up with some way better to get people off of FB and on to your service and that's just not going to happen anyday soon, if ever. Not at the rate that FB is integrating with everything left and right.

recursive said,
The question is, how did they know it was him?

because of his G-Chip implant......

Seriously though, as mentioned above, if someone breaks an NDA once, they'll do it again. That being said, with thousands of employees, it was going to break pretty quickly.

To be fair to Google, the memo had ''CONFIDENTIAL: INTERNAL ONLY. GOOGLERS ONLY (FULL TIME AND PART TIME EMPLOYEES)'' plastered across the top of it, so the leaker would have known what he was doing was likely to land him in strife.

yazb123 said,
same here they shudnt fire someone cuz of something this trivial
Sorry, you violate a NDA ( which I assume they had in some form ) and you can't be trusted.. You don't wait for them to leak something else.

Ryoken said,
Sorry, you violate a NDA ( which I assume they had in some form ) and you can't be trusted.. You don't wait for them to leak something else.

Agreed.

trivial? The rise involves millions of dollars of company expenses for thousands of employees. It's hardly trivial information and could likely be used in a number of ways. If you work at a company you cant just go spreading this sort of information at will.

Damn Google fired a guy who just told people about a pay raise. I can understand getting sacked for leaking info about a project but something like this.

Smigit said,
Because financial information doesn't warrant confidentiality?

we're not allowed to talk about financial information related to pay raises and bonuses at work, its in our company handbood.. I'm sure Google has a similar policy