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Google Getting Social?

Tanya Goodin
Tanya Goodin
CEO
12 October 2007

Google CEO admits ‘it’s very real’

A wee while ago MSN Chief Steve Ballmer dismissed Social Networks as a fad. Comments from Google CEO Eric Schmidt at the recent Zeitgeist Conference are more encouraging, and realistic. 

He said that Social networks, account for an “enormous proportion” of Internet usage. “It is very real. It’s a very real phenomenon.”  So there you have it. It’s real and it’s a phenomenon.

Of greater interest would have been information on what Google planned to do in the Social arena where other companies such as Facebook and MySpace have stolen a lead. Mr Schmidt was less forthcoming on this but did remark that Google is palnning to use the information it has on connections between users of Social Media (called the Social Graph) to help refine search results and other Google servcies such as Orkut. He also pointed out that Google sells ads on MySpace and would like to do the same on Facebook.

With the value of Facebook increasing daily, last valuation I saw was $15 billion, but basically just think of a number and throw as many ‘Zeros’ as your laptop allows and someone will quote you on it, the opportunity is there for Google or Yahoo! to buy in, but even to these companies with very deep pockets this must seem a steep price. So do they need to get something going themselves?

I suspect we will see some level of investment soon from either Yahoo! or Google, if Facebook want it. Both are on the backfoot and need to get a hold. Lets see who blinks first!

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