The big social networking question of late: Is Google starting a social network or not? The topic was hot Sunday afternoon around the social networking community when ReadWriteWeb broke the news that Google would debut a network known as Circles at SXSW in Austin. As the sun set on the Texas horizon, the question was a rumor and only a rumor, according to Google. Alas!
Sure enough, the topical question changed to whether Circles was a trumped-up story or ReadWriteWeb simply jumped the gun. TechCrunch had also speculated that Circles is real and will be introduced over a period of time rather than all at once.
PCMag reports that Google’s Chris Messina, who was ID’d as the head of Circles, told ATD that he “didn’t know what [the story] was talking about.” He reiterated what Google execs have said several times – Google will incorporate social aspects into its products, but the company has no plans for a formal social network.
TechCrunch seems to know more about the Google rumor and the potential produce. The blog is referred to in many of the other blogs on the Google rumor. “The product details they got were fairly correct, though, from what I’ve heard from sources who’ve seen Google’s product iterations over the last few months. Google will focus a lot on groups of friends and how you share with them, and try to differentiate themselves from Facebook in this and other ways. ”
TechCrunch also suggest that any release by Google will not be too dazzling considering they “had their strike 1 and strike 2 in the social space with Orkut and Buzz. And big launches like Google TV and Wave didn’t turn out so great, either.”
According to PCMag, Digg founder Kevin Rose tweeted, “Ok, umm, huge rumor: Google to launch facebook competitor very soon ‘Google Me,’ very credible source.” The rumor seed was planted But, that tweet was later deleted, and ex-Facebook executive and Quora co-founder Adam D’Angelo said Google Me was real.
Google Circles was a hot topic Sunday, and today it’s still burning as rumor and a twitter topic for those who are part of the social networking industry.