Google's Social Push Accelerates Tomorrow With Gmail Social Stream

While Google has been strategizing ways to fend off the Facebook threat for the past couple years, the company has been accelerating efforts in recent weeks. The company began recruiting a number of social web advocates including Chris Messina, Will Norris, and most recently Joseph Smarr who previously worked for Plaxo to create a new “Social Web Team” . Tomorrow, it is expected that Google will take things one step further by launching a social stream within Gmail according to the Wall Street Journal.

Google has made a number of attempts to “out open” Facebook including OpenSocial, Google Friend Connect, and a number of other initiatives. All of those initiatives have not been met with incredible success, although some of the Google Friend Connect widgets are now on “millions” of sites. While Google had reportedly stated that Gmail would be a central component of the company’s war against Facebook, the timetable was much longer than we would have expected.

It has been almost two years since Facebook first withdrew their support of Google Friend Connect, and now almost two years later, the company is preparing to unleash a new arsenal. While the company’s new “Social Web Team” may be limited to a handful of open web advocates, it’s clear that Google wants to be a strong contender in the race to own the social web.

Up until now Facebook and Twitter have been battling for domination, but with 400 million users, there is pretty much no competition to Facebook. Google hopes to change that all starting with “a module” which will be added “to the Gmail screen that will display a stream of updates from individuals a user chooses to connect with”.

Whether or not Google’s attempt will succeed, Joseph Smarr told Caroline McCarthy that “Google’s decided that social is one of its big focuses for 2010”. Is the company too late to the game or does Google have a shot? With the amount of jockeying that the company has been doing in only the first month of year, we can only expect an all out war between Google and Facebook in 2010. Who do you think will win?