Tweet on the trees is that Google is giving the final touches to a new social network, called Google Me, that is supposed to stand up against Facebook.
On Saturday, Digg.com founder Kevin Rose wrote the following on Twitter:
“Ok, umm, huge rumor: Google to launch Facebook competitor very soon “Google Me,” very credible source.”
Although Kevin Rose has made himself a reputation for spreading rumors, such as those regarding Apple hardware and software, on many other occasions some of these pieces of “insider” information have turned out to be true.
To be precise, it wouldn’t be that much of a surprise if Google had decided to roll off its own social media outlet that will allow it to remain competitive in the near future.
Even though Google already owns Orkut, a social networking website hugely popular in Brazil and more recently in India, and also social oriented venues, such as Buzz, that lets you create brief status updates like those on Facebook or Twitter, Google Wave, an online message tool for real-time communication and teamwork, Latitude, that lets you share location info with your friends and Google Profiles, that features Google Social Search, none of them is a worthy competitor to Facebook, not even the combination of all of them. As Mathew Ingram explained, combining one or more of these services would amount to Google doing little more than “stitching together pieces of half-dead services and hoping they come alive.”
In any case, analysts are skeptical that any new service could have any chance of challenging Facebook, which expects to pass the 500 million users mark soon. As of today, Social Media outlets attract more visitors than search engines. In May, 14.5% of all website traffic was to Social Media websites, as opposed to slightly more than 10% going to search engines.