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Google’s Secret Social Initiative Delayed Until Spring 2011

"Google’s big social initiative, once thought to be a full-fledged social network named “Google Me,” is experiencing delays that have pushed back the launch until spring 2011.

Mashable has learned that Google’s big social play could debut in March or April, a far cry from earlier rumors that pegged a 2010 launch date.

The project is a top-secret affair, even within the company. It is being led by Vic Gundotra, one of the company’s public faces and a VP of engineering."

via www.mashable.com

Google Is Determined to Crack the Social Code

"Google has been stunningly adept at devising computer algorithms to help people search the Internet. But when it comes to building features for social networking, the company has been much less effective.

And changing that is one of the company’s biggest business challenges these days.

Google depends on having its finger on the pulse of the entire Internet, and maintaining its status as the primary entree to the Web. But as people spend more time on closed social networks like Facebook, where much of the data they share is off limits to search engines, Google risks losing the competition for Web users’ time, details of their lives and, ultimately, advertising."

Read more at www.nytimes.com

Google to Make Its Core Products More Social

"Google will most probably launch its social network, Google Me,
later this year. However, the secretive project might be more of an
added layer to Google’s existing products and services than an entirely
new service.

“We’re trying to take Google’s core products and add a social component,” Google CEO Eric Schmidt said at the Google Zeitgeist conference on Tuesday.

Rumors about Google building a Facebook competitor became slightly more convincing back in August, when Google acquired Ångströ, a service that brings intelligent search results on someone’s professional network, as well as social app company Slide."

Read more at www.mashable.com

Google’s Set to Launch Google Me: Should Facebook Be Worried?

There has long been talk that Google is ready to give Facebook a run for its money in terms of the social network space. Now, ZDnet reports that Google is just about ready to launch its "Google Me" social network – should Facebook be worried?

Read more via www.tmcnet.com

Facebook Makes Headway Around the World

"Sergey Brin, a Google founder, takes issue with people who say Google has failed to gain a foothold in social networking. Google has had successes, he often says, especially with Orkut, the dominant service in Brazil and India.

Facebook’s homepage at an Internet cafe in New Delhi. A year ago, Orkut was the dominant social site in India, but Facebook has caught up.
Mr. Brin may soon have to revise his answer.

Facebook, the social network service that started in a Harvard dorm room just six years ago, is growing at a dizzying rate around the globe, surging to nearly 500 million users, from 200 million users just 15 months ago…"

via Miguel Helft, www.nytimes.com