Google Stealthily Building a Social Network?

Google Friend Connect is the latest in a trend of big media companies who are ‘opening up their users data’ to help make the web more social. Facebook recently scored big by securing a deal that would allow Digg, Hulu and Discovery users to sign up and authenticate using their existing accounts. This is huge because it opens up all of Facebooks users to those services, allowing them to quickly create profiles and to use the same username and pass across all four services. Not to be out done, Google is prepping the launch of their own portable identity service Friend Connect. But with this service, could they be poising themselves to make the web one huge social network?

Let’s look at the evidence:

* Google Profiles
* Google Friend Connect
* Picasa
* Jaiku
* Google Chat
* Blogger
* Gmail
* iGoogle
* Google Reader

The most telling evidence is Google Profiles which, like ClaimID, is an attempt to allow people to ‘claim their identities’ online.

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