Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Google Confronts the Facebook Challenge

Not the 'Google Me' referenced in the article.

Link to August 17 San Jose Mercury News article, "Google to tap games for social network".

Excerpt:   Confronting the challenge of Facebook's runaway growth, Google appears ready to try again with social networking. But the company's approach, using a service rumored to be dubbed "Google Me," won't be a Facebook knockoff.

Instead, the company's recent statements and acquisitions suggest, Google is forging a social strategy that will knit games and other social networking features into its existing products -- search, mail, web browsing and its Android smartphone software. That would better attune those products to people's relationships and, Google hopes, make them more popular.

"The world does not need another Facebook," Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently told reporters. "It needs the technologies around friends and relationships to be allied to everything."

With Facebook using games like "FarmVille" and "Mafia Wars" to help push its membership beyond 500 million people, Google recently announced it is buying San Francisco-based Slide, a social entertainment company that created SuperPoke and other popular applications on Facebook.

For all its tremendous success at using data to help people navigate the Web, analysts say, Google must respond to Facebook's forte -- using personal relationships as the basis to find and share online content.

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