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.".