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In the age of Twitter, nothing remains a secret for very long. Nothing.
Citing a very credible source, Kevin Rose, the founder of the ever-popular news aggregator Digg, tweeted over the weekend that Google was preparing a Facebook competitor called "Google Me." The post itself disappeared shortly after, leaving many questioning its validity, but Rose later confirmed on This Tech in Tech that it was taken down by request – possibly one made by Google.
Adding fuel to the fire, former Facebook CTO Adam D’Angelo corroborated the rumor on his own website, Quora, through his own sources.
Here is what I've pieced together from some reliable sources:
• 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 modeling 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.
In short, this is real. Very, very real.
Hopefully, Google Me is nothing like the company’s previous botched attempt at dethroning Twitter, Buzz, which raised concerns over privacy when it forcibly attached itself like a parasite to everyone’s GMail.
That all said, given its current mindshare, toppling Facebook will be no small feat. If Google wants to compete, they will need the following:
- Beauty – Google products tend to be functional but not very user-friendly. If Google wants to attract current Facebook-ers, they need to learn from Apple and marry usability with functionality.
- Added Functionality – Google Me needs to do things Facebook doesn’t. Nobody likes a clone. Matching it feature-for-feature will do nothing.
- Privacy – Don’t become Facebook, and don’t repeat the Buzz blunder.
- Ultimate Control – For many, the one killer feature for a Google Facebook competitor would be the ability to control what information comes up about you on Google Search.
No word yet when Google Me will become available, but hopefully, it doesn’t take the Internet search giant too long to stage their coup against Facebook.
[Via: Pulse 2]