With Google rumoured to be working on its own social network, soon there could be no aspect of your online activity that the search giant doesn’t own. Would you trust a social network from Google?
Rumours are abounding that online giant Google could launch its own a social network, adding to its already comprehensive suite of online products.
Reportedly code-named ‘Google Me’, the service is likely to launch under the title Google Circles, echoing the company’s existing Social Circle and Social Content.
You probably haven’t heard of either of those, but in case you wanted to know, Social Circle lets you sort your Google Chat contacts into different groups (like friends or family). Whereas Social Content allows you to share your Flickr photos, blog posts, Twitter updates or any other online content with your friends.
As it stands this is a very clunky experience and a long way removed from existing social networks, such as the near-ubiquitous Facebook and its rivals MySpace and Bebo.
Google’s social circle
With Google denying all rumours we can only imagine what Google Circles will look like.
However, it’s not much of a leap to guess that it would include the ability to connect with friends and family, post status updates and perhaps run the odd app. And undoubtedly, there’d be a version of Google Circles to run on your Android-enabled phone.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Or does it? Like it or not, you’re already deeply entwined within Google’s social circle.
If you’re looking for something online, chances are you’re using Google – apparently 84% of UK web surfers use it as their preferred search engine. If you use Gmail, Google has access to your emails too. Plus, Google’s keeping tabs on the advertisements you click on and the websites you visit – though neither of these are uniquely identified to you.
Gift-wrapped for Google
You may ask, so what? But, if you signed up to Google’s social network, you may as well be gift-wrapping yourself for the online giant. Think about it… Google already knows what you’re interested in looking at online, what you like to buy, what you’re saying in your emails and what adverts catch your eye.
In addition, it would also know vital statistics, such as your gender, sexual orientation, likes and dislikes. Worryingly, if Google were to follow Facebook’s lead, this information could be made available to third-party application developers as well.
In short, Google would know more about you than your best friend. Although, unlike your best friend, there’s no guarantee you could trust it to keep your secrets, nor that your information wouldn’t be used to make a quick buck. If you ask me, that all sounds a little anti-social.