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Google chief executive wouldn’t publicly deny that the company is set to hatch a rival social network to Facebook during a speech today in London, adding fuel to rumors that the search giant may launch a social service called Google Me later this year.
“That would be a product announcement and I won’t say,” he said in response to a question about whether the service existed at The Guardian’s Activate conference today.
The company is reportedly hard at work building a competing service after several failed attempts at launching successful social products. Facebook is increasingly looking like an emerging threat to advertising revenue with 1 million sites plugging into its platform.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Brittin, when asked if Google was indeed creating a new social network, to rival Facebook’s dominance, rumoured to be called ‘Google Me’ refused to ‘comment on that kind of rumour and speculation’ but stopped short of denying the claim.
He went on to argue that the global market was big enough for more than one social network. “"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," he said. "It's a phenomenon that is with us to stay. I think what we'll see is the internet becoming more of a social place, as well as people being social within the context of social networks."
Facebook has first mover advantage and is well established. Knocking it off with a replacement product is doomed to fail - but maybe Google has some other strategy in play.
It's a bit like Bing trying to knock off Google - it's unlikely to happen.