Will Google Ever Compete in Social Networking?

With sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Bebo battling it out to be the largest social networking platform, the question has to be asked whether Google will be the next contender? Although it currently owns several online social interacting sites such as YouTube, Google Talk, Google Reader and Blogger, it still has not managed to set up a site dedicated to social networking.

According to Erica Naone at Technology Review, Google’s existing social network site “Orkut” is still struggling behind Facebook with around 100 million users compared to Facebook’s incredible 500 million. Recently, Google launched “Buzz”, a social network built into Gmail which unfortunately saw users complaining of their privacy being invaded. Google struggles to find a happy medium when building a social networking site to please all users. It lacks the understanding of how a social network is an important platform for users to communicate with one another and the benefit it gives with targeted advertising.

For Google to compete and be successful in setting up a social networking site, they need to bring something more exciting to entice users. Users will expect a new addition to include full integration with Gmail, Docs and its other products.

As a fan of social networking sites, can Google deliver a new addition? What features would appeal to you, the user? Give us your comments below. To read up on this check out Technology Review