At yesterday's Google Zeitgeist conference in Arizona, CEO Eric Schmidt confirmed that the company will roll out a new social service, internally dubbed Google Me, sometime later this year. They basically want to give your web a social booster shot.
Schmidt didn't offer too many details on the service, according to the Wall Street Journal, but it sounds like instead of or in addition to a centralised social hub a la Facebook, Google Me will centre on adding social components to existing Google services. On YouTube, for example, you might be alerted when a bunch of your friends have watched the same cat video. Group embarrassment: the new social media.
The Journal also mentions that Google's moving forward with Zynga to let users play the latter's wildly popular social games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars on a platform other than Facebook. In July, TechCrunch reported that Google had quietly invested some $US100 million in the social gaming company.
Other parts of the Wall Street Journal's report vaguely mention an effort to link Google services with Twitter and Flickr.
Of course, news of Google stretching its tendrils into social networking wouldn't be complete without one creepy and disquieting quote - yesterday's, in reference to Google's hopes that they might be able to access Facebook users' contacts lists to build out Google Me:
"The best thing that would happen is for Facebook to open up its data," Mr. Schmidt said. "Failing that, there are other ways to get that information." He declined to be specific.