By: David Murphy
Is Google prepping to launch some kind of Facebook-killing service? That’s the rumor of the day, spawned by a brief Twitter update by Digg founder Kevin Rose.
According to Rose, the new service is going to be called “Google Me,” and it will—in some way—offer up a social profiling functionality that could rival Facebook’s.
If true, it wouldn’t be the first time that Google’s launched a new high-profile service to compete with an equally high-profile Web 2.0 entity. Remember Google Buzz?
It remains to be seen just how much of a mark Buzz has made in terms of dedicated users, however, one number in particular is rather telling: According to ReadWriteWeb, 90 percent of all content published on Buzz is just an automated rehash from an existing Twitter account or RSS feed.
So what, then, would the proposed “Google Me” really do? The only details thus far are sheer speculation. However, it appears that Google Me could fly in as an upgrade to the preexisting Google Profiles service that, itself, is almost like a mini-biographical profile page.
However, its unclear as to just how Google’s other user information feeds—Buzz, Wave, and even the company’s experience with the social networking site Orkut—would tie into the grand picture.
“Knowing that a Google account is required to use Orkut, and a Gmail account is required for Buzz, we can safely assume that we’re looking at roughly 200 million users to any service that would combine the two,” writes The Next Web’s Brad McCarty.
“It wouldn’t take much for Google to not only be a thorn, but to actually come knocking with a heavy hand on the door of Facebook,” he adds.
Adding more fuel to the fire, the site All Facebook reported earlier this week that Open-Graph-friendly Web pages were now showing up in search results on the social media site.
Open Graph, in a nutshell, connects Web elements to Facebook by allowing users to “like” elements of third-party sites—like a movie on a retail platform—which then becomes a part of one’s social experience on the site. Said movie would, in theory, be added to your list of favorite movies and, depending on how many others like the product, would be prioritized in your search results accordingly.
Open Graph represents the start of Facebook’s “social semantic search engine” and, as some have suggested, a direct shot across Google’s bow. With Facebook dipping its toes into search, and Google dipping its toes into social, it’s going to be quite a battleground for user interest over the next many months.