Google developed its own social network back in 2004, Orkut. Mainly as a test, as it never believed in this tool, even though it got quite popular in India and Brazil. Having the main search engine, Google does not really need to get into social networking. But that does not mean either that it does not have a strategy for this new tools. This is it:
1. Google is including social features to all its tools. This means it’s not creating social networks but using the strength of crowdsourcing to improve the tools.
2. Google is developing its profile pages. Users of Google services can create a personal page with information about them, including a picture and a custom URL. These pages are also used to improve its search engine.
3. Google is building collaboration tools for companies and professionals. This is its main will right now. After having built the main website in the world, Google wants to get closer to companies, as they are the ones that make services profitable. It’s clear that Google wants to become the SAAS (Software As A Service) hub as this is going to be a huge business and it knows how to develop it.
4. Google is creating links between its users. It’s kind of a Friends system, but very basic so far. Google knows that Gmail’s friends lists are very powerful, but it does not dare to share them. I think it won’t move too far in this direction and will only react to Facebook’s or Yahoo Mail’s improvements of its mailbox feature. So far, Facebook has put many limitations on its users sending messages to the rest of members, as it wants to avoid spam. If it ever opens this service up, Google will have to react. This is going to be very interesting!