Did you Google me lately?
That simple phrase could take an entire new meaning soon if we believe what Kevin hinted yesterday.
Ok, umm, huge rumor: Google to launch facebook competitor very soon “Google Me”, very credible source
Let’s be clear. Google has all the pieces in order to create a social network –besides the ugly UI, that is.
Gmail, Chat, Blogger, Picasa, Buzz, Apps, Docs, Friend Connect, Latitude, Calendar, Chat, Profiles (upon which Chris Saad seems to think that Me thing will be built ). You name it -just don’t name Orkut. In a way, it’s already a social network of sorts.
I know, I know, you’re thinking Wave and Buzz right now. As a sign of an upcoming failure?
I would argue differently.
Let’s immediately skip the Wave case. People hastily compared it to Twitter for the sake of a fallacious simple categorization and it stained that great collaboration tool into the failure box while it shouldn’t have. Not that everything is perfect there -again, that ugly UI-, but it’s not, I repeat, not a Twitter nor a Facebook. It’s a different beast.
For all the -privacy - mistakes done during the roll out of Buzz on the other hand, the tool remains a solid implementation of social sharing -beside that UI again-, one that is linked with the massive pool of existing Gmail users.
Google Buzz might have not met expectations -it hasn’t fully met mine- but mainly because most pundits were waiting for the Second Coming, that competitor to Facebook -open versus closed, that recurring debate, you know- while, it has to be noted, Google never presented it as such.
Also, you know, for all its soon-to-be 500m users base, Facebook is not the gold standard of social networking sites. It certainly is not the gold standard of monetization or advertising platform.
Google sits on a user base of approximatively 100 million active Gmail users alone. Add 100m with that thing I told you not to name, Orkut. It has the most popular search engine out there. It knows about ads. And it has data. Lots of data. Scary shitloads of data. Data that could serve into rapidly building a very satisfactory social networking experience. Data that, as a user, I’d love to leverage to rapidly built a cohesive network. Data that, as a brand, I’d love to be able to leverage in order to deliver relevant ads.
It’s evidently too soon to make any reasonable analysis. We’re talking about thin air. Thin air that users won’t maybe care to breathe. But Google has a shot. A clear one.
Besides the ugly UI, that is.