It won’t be the first time, but I’m pretty sure Google will hope it will be the last, and thus the most successful, that Google might be launching a social networking site. It’s not the first time we’ve heard about this kind of possibility with rumours of a ‘Google Me’ social network in the past, so far nothing has appeared to take some sort of sizable chunk out of Facebook’s ever-increasing market share. A market share that can’t keep increasing as it continues to steam-roller the likes of Bebo, Facebook, Friendster on its path to web-world domination.
Anyway, rumour has it that Google is once again stepping into the game, with ‘Google Circles’, its latest and hopefully greatest social networking site. So far, all that the rumours suggest is that you’ll be able to share photos, videos and status messages. That’s nothing new. At all. So there must be more, or once again it will be back to the drawing board for the brains at Google as once again, nobody migrates from Facebook.
There does seem to be something unique, though, and that is that Google Circles, will only share the content you share, with people who want to see it, not all of your contacts. The idea is, that you will be kept in the loop with specific circles of contacts, or friends, and the content shared will be relevant only to what you want to see. Well that’s convenient.
Interestingly, the ‘Circles’ service is being developed by some guys who have a relatively illustrious history in the social development circle (oh… sorry). Firstly, is Chris Messina, who was the co-creator of social software such as BarCamp, and Hashtags. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, too, and on top of him (not literally, of course) is Jonathan Sposato, CEO of Piknik, the photo editing service that Google snapped up last week. Sposato was also the man behind Phatbits, now known as Google Gadgets. Another of his projects acquired by Google.
So, Google is yet again stepping into the social scene online, perhaps, though nothing is confirmed either way just yet. For the sake of competition, if nothing else, let’s hope that someone, even if it’s not Google, can come up with something that can rival Facebook as a pure social networking site. Twitter, in my opinion, doesn’t count. It’s different, and you could easily use both (I do) for completely alternative purposes.
We need something fresh, something that will spur Mark Zuckerberg onto revolutionise Facebook all over again, because on the face of it, it’s stagnating. OK, there’s the odd tweak to the layout, but nothing major has been added just yet, despite all the talk of Facebook Mail, video calls etc etc etc.
So, do you think that this time we will see something of the right ilk to compete? Or do you think it will be yet another flop? After all, a social network relies on people, and if enough people aren’t attracted away from Facebook, there just won’t be any social circles to be a part of.
That’s the crux of the problem really, Facebook has already accumulated so much audience, so much participation, that it’s almost impossible to topple, despite a new service potentially being technically better. We shall see, anyway, this Circles thing may not actually be anything at all.
Are you looking forward to there being a real competitor to Facebook? Do we need another social network? Or do you think there’s too many already?