The week's most fanciful rumour is that Google is getting ready to launch a major rival to Facebook called 'Google Me'. Well, it's a rumour which is getting less fanciful by the minute...
Former Facebook CTO Adam D'Angelo has now chipped with:
“This is not a rumor. This is a real project. There are a large number of people working on it. I am completely confident about this. They realized that Buzz wasn’t enough and that they need to build out a full, first-class social network. They are modelling (sic) it off of Facebook. Unlike previous attempts (before Buzz at least), this is a high-priority project within Google. They had assumed that Facebook’s growth would slow as it grew, and that Facebook wouldn’t be able to have too much leverage over them, but then it just didn’t stop, and now they are really scared."
D'Angelo was responding to a simple Q&A on query service Quora so we're still not taking this as cold hard fact, though it makes little sense for him to sully his reputation with mindless mudslinging. It also builds on the tweet from Digg founder Kevin Rose (who has something of a hit and miss record) which started off this whole discussion.
Of course Google isn't entirely new to social networking. Other than its hugely contentious Buzz service, Google also has Orkut - which with over 100 million users is no shrinking violet. That said, while it caters for anyone over the age of 13 and has a famously huge following in Brazil (over 51% of all members), it has yet to crack a global market.
Consequently Google Me could be a simple merging of Buzz with Orkut, though I'd suggest the search giant now realises there is more to making a social networking site than sandwiching together two moderately popular services.
Besides, Facebook has a problem with users not trusting their privacy practices and Google... oh. wait.
Link: Quora Q&A