Google is back in action working with various developers to creating a social networking service designed to compete with Facebook. The developers Google is working with are primarily online game companies.
The details of Google’s venture have not been confirmed, and Chief Executive Eric Schmidt declined to confirm Google’s plans and stated that a Facebook clone is not necessary.
It appears Google will be going the social gaming route – having entered discussions with Playdom, Playfish (Electronic Arts), and Zynga. Those companies create many of the games currently in play on Facebook, most notably Zynga’s Farmville. By working directly with these gaming developers, Google can target the advertising dollars that these games have been bringing in for social networking sites.
Google has already dipped into social networking with Buzz, and was immediately hit with numerous negative reviews, primarily for privacy concerns. One person familiar with Google’s new social networking plans related to the Wall Street Journal that this venture will go far beyond the scope of Buzz.