Google to launch a new social network called Circles [Update]

Google doesn't exactly have a strong history when it comes to social platforms. Google Wave was creative and unique but it never caught on with the masses and Google Buzz failed to take any marketshare from Twitter and is now all but dead. 

There is a new rumor out today that Google is going to unveil another attempt at a social platform. According to RWW.com, Google is expected to unveil Circles, possibly as soon as today, at the South by Southwest Interactive. RWW states:

If what we've heard is correct, the service will offer photo, video and status message sharing. Everything users share on Circles will be shared only with the most appropriate circle of social contacts in their lives, not with all your contacts in bulk. Circles may be shown off at an event co-hosted tonight by the ACLU, an organization focused on privacy and the liberties it affords.

If Google does come out with a new social platform, they have a long tough fight ahead. To win consumers over, it must have something innovative that Twitter and Facebook don't currently offer. If they simply expand upon an already existing idea (see Google Buzz) then the efforts may fail to attract users. It's hard to base judgment about a product we haven't seen, but do we really need another social network to constantly update?

[Update] Google has come out and denied that Circles will launch today. AllThingsD reports that "A representative for Google told NetworkEffect unequivocally that no such service is launching at SXSW today. She would not say whether something called Google Circles was in the works.".

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Wonder what the chosen domain will be... hope it's not circles.google.com
if google wants to stand out maybe they should launch it on its own domain //me thinks

I would LOVE something like this. My main problem with Facebook is that it feels like a huge group of people, and with a natural crowd fear I can never stay logged in more than 20 seconds ! Something based on circles of interest or small friend circles would be quite awesome as I would be more comfortable using it

UndergroundWire said,
I just don't get it. Google and Apple have launched social networks that are just failures. Why does Google bother to try again?

Every giant wants a [preferably big] piece of the pie! This is an internet function Google has yet to conquer!

phdem said,

Every giant wants a [preferably big] piece of the pie! This is an internet function Google has yet to conquer!

They haven't conquered email either. But I guess email is outdated in a sense. Most people (not talking about professionals here) communicate via Social Networks or SMS. This Social network idea is an avenue that Google will fail in again. People for the most part have made up there minds on social networks. You have people that either use Twitter or Facebook (or both) and you have the other side of the coin that despise there use.

What Google should focus on is Google Voice. It's a great product. However it lacks in MMS and I want to see better integration of this service on my Android phone. For example, when somebody calls me I don't know if they are calling my real mobile number or my Google Voice number.

On a side note, Apple needs a Google Voice type service for there iPhones and iPad's. Why bother with Ping? It's not a real social network to begin with. It's the most antisocial network ever created. All social networks should live on the web not via a cluttered iTunes program which solely resides on a Mac OS or Windows OS.

So why should users switch from Facebook for photo sharing and status messages to this one?

That's the big question Google needs to answer.

Northgrove said,
So why should users switch from Facebook for photo sharing and status messages to this one?

That's the big question Google needs to answer.


the things I see that FB lack is rich text that Wave had and being open with others

NesTle said,

the things I see that FB lack is rich text that Wave had and being open with others

Lack of Rich Text? Why not add Animated GIFs, too?
Oh wait, I think MySpace had those features. Wonder why MySpace failed depite Rich Text.

thenonhacker said,

Lack of Rich Text? Why not add Animated GIFs, too?
Oh wait, I think MySpace had those features. Wonder why MySpace failed depite Rich Text.

Myspace failed because a newer product came along that was more interesting. Also, spell check.

BrentMH said,
Myspace failed because a newer product came along that was more interesting. Also, spell check.

MySpace failed because of clutter and pages that hurt the eyes. Also, check for proper capitalization.

Pretty sure the same things were said about FB when My____ was big (circa 2000) frankly I find FB to be tired and old, bring on the new.

cryptic said,
Pretty sure the same things were said about FB when My____ was big (circa 2000) frankly I find FB to be tired and old, bring on the new.

Good luck moving there if none of your friends do.

cryptic said,
Pretty sure the same things were said about FB when My____ was big (circa 2000) frankly I find FB to be tired and old, bring on the new.

Not if Google Circles will be another MySpace or Friendster or Orkut or Buzz.

littleneutrino said,
Social Networks = downfall of security/privacy.

I must agree, but fortunately/unfortunately (depends on your point of view) it is an easy way to keep in touch with family and friends.

littleneutrino said,
Social Networks = downfall of security/privacy.

only if you're stupid enough to put the privacy on it yourself

littleneutrino said,
Social Networks = downfall of security/privacy.

Not if you don't enter your birthday, location, schools, education, and your pictures.
It's really up to you.

I was able to create a test profile, and all it has is a fake First Name, Last Name, and profile pic.

Wave was an awesome concept. Buzz was a huge fail. Hope they learn from it.
But building your own social network to compete with facebook? Nah

Wave was awesome. People suck for an embracing it!

I think google should just buy out Facebook. That'll probably be their best solution.

Quick Shot said,
I think google should just buy out Facebook. That'll probably be their best solution.

That appears to be the way to beat competitors for Google, they haven't been innovative enough lately. See what they did with the Google Video vs YouTube situation and many others. Don't know about your opinion, but I'm tired of the look and feel of the Google brand, the only thing I keep using from them is the search engine, and Gmail as a secondary mail account just for those rare cases where a new website ask you for a non-Hotmail account.

Quick Shot said,
Wave was awesome. People suck for an embracing it!

I think google should just buy out Facebook. That'll probably be their best solution.

I loved Wave ... best collaboration tool ever ;_;

Quick Shot said,
Wave was awesome. People suck for an embracing it!

I thought that wave was really interesting too, but I think it was released to soon (it was still a little buggy) and people didn't know what to do with it. Also you should have been able to at least read waves without an account from the beginning, it's what prevented people from adopting it, and the solution came too late.

I kinda like buzz too. I only use it to share pieces of news from reader, but I think it's nice to have my friend's opinions on what I share directly in my Gmail inbox. The good thing with buzz is that it's integrated with gmail and reader, so it's not "Yet another social tool", just a new feature of gmail.
I really hope Circles will aim at integrating existing tools (expecially google profiles, which works very well but is pretty useless right now since you can't sync your contacts' profiles with anything, not even with your android phone) and not creating another useless facebook clone : I deleted my facebook account for a reason ^^

PotatoJ said,
I loved Wave ... best collaboration tool ever ;_;
I loved Orkut. Until all my friends shifted to Facebook.
Was so much simpler than Facebook.

FMH said,
I loved Orkut. Until all my friends shifted to Facebook.
Was so much simpler than Facebook.
LOL Simpler? What have you been smoking.

Quick Shot said,
Wave was awesome. People suck for an embracing it!

I think google should just buy out Facebook. That'll probably be their best solution.

I'm sure it wasn't that Wave didn't suck at all. If the masses don't accept it, it's probably not a good technology. Email is just outdated.

Also if Google will buy anyone, it's more likely they'll go for Twitter over Facebook. Facebook is just valued really high and I'm sure it's starting to lose its appeal. Twitter is up and coming and not valued as high.

Azies said,
Do you mean Google to launch a futile attempt at social networks by launching Circles?

It's will be futile, because the employee who conceptualized the Circles Concept is already in Facebook. Facebook has started with the Circles Concept with the New Facebook Groups. That is in addition to Facebook Friend Lists, which is another way to define your relationship Circles.

I don't know how Google can make it more different that those.
Plus I don't know how Google can get everyone to trust them, they are so greedy with your data.

GP007 said,
We already have enough, does Google want to try and take on FB that bad?
Google is turning into the Fat ugly sibling of the Fat ugly Microsoft. Trying to do what somebody else has already done will be soon their motto too very soon since there is a cash cow and nothing more to do with it.

GP007 said,
We already have enough, does Google want to try and take on FB that bad?

We need more opensource, ad-free or limited-ads removed from data mining social networks that are self-owned by the user right providing familiarity and a source that does not need a lot of configuring for non-proficient computer users. Will Google Circles do something like that? I'm not sure.

Unfortunately it seems like many prefer the AOL-Style canned-controlled social network experience that revolves around digital social status building with little to no real-time human interaction so I can see this taking off like Google Wave.