umors are circulating within tech circles that Google is planning to launch a social networking rival to Facebook. According to Digg founder Kevin Rose, the platform will be called "Google Me" — apart from that, there isn't much information available. Some commentators speculate it will be an upgrade to Google Profiles, others an amalgamation of Google's Buzz, Wave and Orkut social networking features. Can Google create a legitimate competitor to Facebook? (Watch a CNET report about "Google Me" rumors)
Google has to try: Facebook is rumored to be setting up a search engine of its own — a clear move onto Google's turf, says Amanda Fox at Helium. With its market share threatened, perhaps Google thinks it is "better to go on the offensive and hit Facebook where it hurts" — their "bread and butter" of social networking. And if anyone can make a "viable" competitor to Facebook, it's Google.
"Google Me rumored to be in the works to take down Facebook"
There's reason to think they'll succeed: Look at the numbers, says Brad McCarty on The Next Web. Orkut has 100 million users, and Google Buzz has 200 million. It's obvious that a successful Google platform could be a serious threat to Facebook. Throw in Google's skill at advertising and widespread disatisfaction at Facebook's security regime, and it could "actually come knocking with a heavy hand" at Mark Zuckerberg's door.
"Here's how Google could take on Facebook"
Google doesn't have a prayer: This could be a "giant mistake," says Mike Carrall at Stark Silvercreek. Numbers aside, the public's response to Google Buzz was a "huge yawn." Meanwhile, everyone uses Facebook — so why would anybody opt for "an alternative me-too service?" If Google is lucky it will attrace a few niche markets. But competing with Facebook and Twitter across the broader market? Not a chance.
"If true, 'Google Me' is wrong move, wrong time"
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