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July 5, 2010

Google’s UK Chief Exec talks social networking

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by Darren Allan

Facebook is, of course, an absolute giant. The social networking site is poised on the cusp of welcoming its 500 millionth user to its status update, photo tagging, quiz filled world.

And last week an interesting rumour broke regarding Google’s social networking ambitions.

No, not the badly conceived plan that was Buzz – the social network which was opened up within the company’s webmail service. But another idea which has been referred to as Google Me.

The rumour that Google was working on a fully fledged, standalone social network to truly rival Facebook was started by Kevin Rose (the found of Digg), and the flames fanned by Adam D’Angelo, an ex-Facebook big cheese. He claimed the search site had a lot of people working on the new project.

And the Telegraph recently found the time to talk to Matt Brittin, Google’s UK Chief Executive, on whether there’s any truth to the Google Me story.

Brittin said that he refused to comment on such speculation, but on the other hand, he didn’t scoff at or deny the claim.

And what’s more, he went on to point out that the social networking scene was hip enough for more than one cat to strut its stuff.

Brittin told the Telegraph: “Facebook is an absolute phenomenon but there are other social networks which are successful too. We’ve got Orkut, which is fantastically successful in India and Brazil. And Bebo is successful in other countries.”

Seems like Google might have something like this on the cards then. Whether even the titan that is the big G can possibly hope to go up against Facebook and its half a billion strong user base, well, that’s another matter.

Mind you, it certainly can’t do any worse than Buzz, which was about as popular as a policeman at a rave.

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