We believe that Google will preview a major new social service called Google Circles at South by Southwest Interactive today. If what we've heard is correct, the service will offer photo, video and status message sharing. Everything users share on Circles will be shared only with the most appropriate circle of social contacts in their lives, not with all your contacts in bulk. Circles may be shown off at an event co-hosted tonight by the ACLU, an organization focused on privacy and the liberties it affords. It may not be a big public launch yet, but it's clear that this is a major product in the works at the very least.
The service has been developed with extensive participation by Chris Messina, the co-creator of numerous successful social and software phenomena online, from BarCamp to Hashtags and much more. Messina declined to comment for this story. Jonathan Sposato, CEO of the photo editing service Piknik that Google acquired last year, is working on Circles as well. Sposato may be the only entrepreneur to have sold not one but two startups to Google - having founded Phatbits, a service that was acquired by Google in 2005 and became Google Gadgets. These are heavy hitting tech leaders and the service should be very interesting. [readwriteweb.com...]
5:44 pm on Mar 13, 2011 (gmt 0)
Everything users share on Circles will be shared only with the most appropriate circle
Presumably Google's advertising behemoth will be considered appropriate.
7:48 pm on Mar 13, 2011 (gmt 0)
All I see is Google going round and round in Circles trying to get a piece of this social networking stuff... ;-)
8:21 pm on Mar 13, 2011 (gmt 0)
Waiting for something new, fresh and innovative from the bunch. Not holding my breath, however
8:56 pm on Mar 13, 2011 (gmt 0)
What's the point ? Having several general purpose social network is self defeating concept.
Do they think I will bother using their network, now that 100% of my friends are on facebook ?
Facebook has won. Google has lost. Once for all.
9:23 pm on Mar 13, 2011 (gmt 0)
Google owning a popular social network is a scary thought because we can't count on Google not to mess up the search results with it. I understand that it's a wall st company looking to make the most profit it can but there are enough Google "proprietary despite user content" features showing up in serps already, imo.
I have no intention of signing up, unless they promote natural search results in the sidebar instead of advertising, because there doesn't seem to be anything new here.
9:39 pm on Mar 13, 2011 (gmt 0)
Google is saying the story is false:
We're not launching any products at #SXSW but we're doing plenty else.