Google plans to incorporate more social networking features across its services this fall according to comments made by CEO Eric Schmidt during the Google Zeitgeist conference on Tuesday. The initiative is internally referred to as "Google Me" inside the company, though according to Schmidt it won't be a separate service.
Google has had mixed success with social networking in its past. In the early part of the last decade, it bought social networking site Orkut, but it failed to take off in most markets as rivals MySpace and Facebook gained the bulk of users. The company bought video sharing site YouTube a few years ago, and it remains one of the most popular online video sites. Its most recent overture—Google Buzz—mostly fizzled after the initial configuration caused an uproar over privacy concerns.
Critical to the success of Google's plans, said Schmidt during the conference, is accessing contact list data from rival Facebook. While Facebook offers APIs that allow other sites to share data with Facebook, that sharing isn't a two-way street. "The best thing that would happen is for Facebook to open up its data," he said. "Failing that, there are other ways to get that information."
Some of the planned features include alerting users when friends view their YouTube videos, accessing data from other sites like Twitter and Flickr, and playing social networking games such as FarmVille.
Source: ars technica