The rumor launched by Kevin Rose about Google working on a social platform to be called Google Me is taking on a new twist as former Facebook CTO, Adam D'Angelo, steps into the dance by saying that it's "a real project."
"This Is A Real Project"
D'Angelo made the statement on his own platform, Quora. The four main elements worth taking note of are 1) Google Me apparently is a "real project," 2) Google is "modelling it off Facebook" as the search behemoth is fully aware of Buzz's weakness, 3) Google people are "really scared" when seeing Facebook's astronomical growth and figures, and last, but not least, 4) Google Me is a "high priority project."
Here's D'Angelo's post on Quora:
It's funny that the statement should come from a Facebook early days executive, its former CTO to be precise, knowing that Google Me is said to be the 'Facebook killer.' However, please do not draw any inference there and remember we said the new platform had a long way to go to get to Facebook's level of social power. D'Angelo said his information is "pieced together from some reliable sources." His statement about being "completely confident" on it being a real project, with "a large number of people working on it" sound like he does definitely know. Granted, he has since left Mark Zuckerberg's company (pun unintended) and is now at the helm of his own "Quora," a social platform too. But it's still a stretch to be imagining that he could be advising Google on making good on its social ambitions. Who knows?
Busy And Buzzing
A little perspective. Google is literally buzzing, with a lot on its plate at the moment. Today's the deadline for submitting ICP licence renewal requests in China and the company is making amends to be able to remain within the world's largest internet market. The search giant (and other sites) are being a) put under the watchful eye of Pakistan's Telecommunications Agency (PTA) for carrying blasphemous content, and, separately, b) requested by the EU to store user data to help fight child abuse online. Let's not forget that Google is also being under fire for collecting Wi-Fi data, facing multiple lawsuits in the U.S. as well as across the globe.
Social & Search
To add to all the activity above and putting further emphasis on "Social", just as it celebrates Google Maps 5th birthday, Google is boosting its Social Search service by way of integrating Buzz into the feature. Read: users can now link their other activities from other social sites into Buzz: think Twitter, YouTube, Picasa. Proof that the Google Me social platform is a "high priority project," this seemingly minor enhancement, coming on top of all current Google actions, would precisely be a step towards Google Me... And to avoid privacy misunderstandings, Google reminds users that "all the content that appears in Social Search is public, and only you can see your private connections," calling on them to make use of its "My Social Content" and "My Social Circle" features to control who sees your content and whose content you want to be connected to.
The search giant is certainly taking the social aspect of things seriously. It released the beta version in January this year and experts like John Greer have been pondering on its added value and mechanism, also explaining us what it means for optimization. Interestingly enough, after Buzz's fiasco, Google is cautious on its moves - and rightly so -, inviting users to provide feedback on its latest features. Shame though that we have to wait until the end of the week for full deployment - I was ready to test it but here's what was displayed when I clicked on their "try it out" link. Let us know what you think if you get to test it.
Frankly, the saga goes on. This latest boost to Google Social Search looks like a slight nudge to Facebook who's currently running search engine tests. On the one hand, one search engine trying to turn social and on the other hand, one social site aiming to offer full search engine services...
Question: Would there be an outsider to grab it all off and challenge both of those giants?