Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that while there won't be a big Google Me social network, the search engine sure would like to get its hands on Facebook data. Analysts mull this approach.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt raised eyebrows by saying Google is
adding social Web services in layers as opposed to a singular social network to
challenge Facebook's fortress.
Several signs earlier this spring pointed to a major
assault on Facebook. Rumors of a social network effort, called Google Me,
Google fueled the rumor with the frenzied acquisitions of
social app maker
, virtual currency provider
, social aggregator Angstro
and social gaming provider SocialDeck
, along with the $100 million investment in social gaming power
However, Schmidt tried to dispel the rumors at Zeitgeist,
"Everybody has convinced themselves that there's
some huge project about to get announced next week. And I can assure you that's
not the case."
"We're trying to take Google's core products and add
a social component... If you think about it, it's obvious. With your
permission, knowing more about who your friends are, we can provide more
tailored recommendations. Search quality can get better."
Forrester Research analyst Augie Ray said Schmidt's
comments seem to discount the expectations that Google will compete with
Facebook in the future, "but he may simply be trying to moderate
expectations, which really have risen to a fever pitch around Google and its
rumored social product."
Other social media analysts aren't sure Google wants to
line up on opposite sides of the same field with its nemesis, at least not so
Altimeter Group founding analyst Charlene Li said search
remains Google's core focus and the company sees social tools as features to be
added to its existing Web services.
However, socializing search, something it began trying
late last year with Google Social Search, will be the key for Google, Li told