Google NEEDS a Social Network

August 7th, 2007 | Categories: acquisitions, blogs, launch, marketing, markets, networks, search, social media, strategy

Google logoGoogle has always prided itself on aggregating user data. After all, their mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. A social network is a great way to acquire user information and data without bluntly asking for it. Millions upon millions of people have provided a detailed map of their lives in Facebook, for example. This information is priceless. Rather than fill out a lenghty, tedious registration form, users slowly complete their profiles over time.

At this point, Google really only has two options. It can:

  1. Create a social network from scratch, or;
  2. Acquire an existing social network.

With all due respect, Orkut just doesn’t cut it. I would even wager that the majority of North American Internet users have never heard of the service - never mind knowing that it is owned by Google. Furthermore, the percentage of English-speaking users is less than 8%, based on Alexa stats

An English-focused social network would tie everything together and create new opportunities for the company. The search giant would not only be able to leverage its highly successful Adsense platform, but also explore potential new revenue models. Further integration with existing social properties (i.e. Blogger, Picasa, Gmail, etc…) could provide a stunning value proposition for existing Google users, as well as potential new users.


  1. Robin Yap Says:

    Hi Aidan ~
    I thought the SocialStream project with MIT is what Google is working on regarding social networking?
    I could be wrong but if this comes to play, it will be quite useful, if not powerful. My understanding is that this is beyond the Orkut initiative.
    ~ Robin

  2. Aidan Says:

    Hey Robin,

    Thanks for the link. I seem to remember hearing something about the initiative, but I appreciate you bringing it back up. Hopefully they will market the service if it does indeed live up to the hype and potential.


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