Privacy Wars: Google Me vs Facebook
Apparently, Google is working on their own social network modeled off of Facebook. The name? Google Me. Is it real? According to a tweet (since removed) by Kevin Rose (CEO of Digg) it seems likely. Additional insight has come from Adam D’Angelo, former Facebook CTO, in his post on Quora (his latest venture), where he claims that Google Me is in fact very real and that Google is scared of Facebook.
Whether that’s the case or not, it has been known for a while Google is not ignoring the social web. Here is Adam D’Angelo’s post from Quora below.
Here is what I’ve pieced together from some reliable sources:
- This is not a rumor. This is a real project. There are a large number of people working on it. I am completely confident about this.
- They realized that Buzz wasn’t enough and that they need to build out a full, first-class social network. They are modeling it off of Facebook.
- Unlike previous attempts (before Buzz at least), this is a high-priority project within Google.
- They had assumed that Facebook’s growth would slow as it grew, and that Facebook wouldn’t be able to have too much leverage over them, but then it just didn’t stop, and now they are really scared.
Between Google Wave and Google Buzz, both of which haven’t really taken off as planned, whether it be due to the privacy issues or just lack of interest, you can see Google is attempting to make an entrance into social networks. What I want to know is if Google will be able to overcome the privacy issues which plagued Buzz originally. Is that dark cloud still over them?
However, that being said, Google isn’t the only company under scrutiny when it comes to privacy. Facebook is too. Will ex-Facebook users and other concerned users flock over to Google Me? Maybe. The real test will be whether or not, Google can get users over and using Google Me as much as they use their Facebook. Is there even enough room on the Internet for two huge social networks? History says no. When Facebook exploded, MySpace died. And Google hasn’t had much luck either when it comes to social networks. Neither Orkut (in the US, at least) or Buzz have really taken off.
Then again, who do you trust your data with more? Google or Facebook? It will be interesting to see how this will play out.