Google has said it is not building a rival social network to compete with Facebook, according to a company spokesperson.
The company said last September it is adding layers of social networking to its sites rather than launching a specially focused product.
In response to questions posed during the Monaco Media Forum, as reported by Reuters, Google head of mobile product development, Hugo Barra, said: “We’re not working on a social network platform that’s just going to be another social network platform.”
Barra’s cryptic comments suggest that, while the company might not tackle social network sites such as Facebook head on, the company might diversify and come up with something that sticks rigidly to the social network definition.
“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.”
Social networking represents a huge market Google has failed thus far to significantly tap into with its own social network offering, Orkut – which is relatively popular in Brazil and India – and the mixed reception that social networking and messaging tool Buzz received.
Earlier in the year, Google said the company had no intention to compete with mobile operators. While technically true, the resulting success of the Google Android OS now supports thousands of smartphones, netbooks and tablet PCs across the planet, begging the question whether Google is biding its time before redefining the boundaries set out by currently successful social networks.