According to Eric Schmidt of Google, the service that we’ve all been waiting to see will start rolling out in the Autumn. Google’s social ‘tool’ provisionally named Google Me is coming, and will happen via a “social layer” added over the top of search, video and Google Maps. This would ultimately suggest a more scaled, hybrid tool than the full on all-singing, all-dancing social network many in the industry have been expecting.
In essence, “Google Me” will be an aggregator of social relationships and conntections, very similar to offerings like Facebook’s “Instant Personalization”. Schmidt, speaking at the Google Zeitgeist event in Scottsdale Arizona suggested he saw potential Facebook users combine their contacts with Google so that they can further their reach.
“We’re trying to take Google’s core products and add a social component,” Schmidt told a select group of reporters at Zeitgeist, a gathering of business partners and high-profile industry figures.
“If you think about it, it’s obvious. With your permission, knowing more about who your friends are, we can provide more tailored recommendations. Search quality can get better.”
This approach, as we’ve called it many times before, is likely the smartest way for Google to move forward in a social environment. To a certain extent I can’t help thinking this isn’t a bad way to start particularly given the current reach of Facebook against that of signed in Google Accounts something which is nowhere near the level of buy in as Google itself does.