In a talk at the Monaco Media Forum earlier today, Google’s Product Management Director, Mobile, Hugo Barra, denied that the search giant is “working on building a traditional social network platform” to compete with those who’re leading the pack in that space, and scrambling to build a variety of social applications instead.
The Telegraph puts it this way: “Google’s mobile chief has flat out denied that the search company is developing a ‘traditional’ social network, called Google Me, to rival Facebook”.
This is all very interesting. Thing is, we’ve heard that song before, from Google CEO Eric Schmidt himself no less, back in September. Heck, Mark Zuckerberg even kinda sorta responded to its rival’s proclaimed strategy soon after Schmidt’s statements, saying ‘social’ doesn’t equal merely putting a social layer on top of existing products.
We also identified Google VP of Engineering Vic Gundotra as the person who will control overall product strategy and execution around Google’s new efforts to find relevance in a quickly changing Internet landscape that is increasingly dominated by Facebook.
Anyway, Barra reportedly told the audience: “We do think that social is an ingredient for success for any app going forward, search and advertising being probably the best two examples that I would mention. So that’s how we’re thinking about the problem.”
He added that he thinks Google Me, the rumored name of the “product”, is ‘awful’.
(That may be, but it’s still much better than Orkut.)
Hopefully Barra’s statements will, once and for all, obliterate the rumors of Google building a full-fledged Facebook competitor anytime soon. I just hope Google’s strategic plans going forward continue to include throwing fighting words at Zuckerberg and co.