What is Google Me?

Can Google Compete With Facebook in Social Networking?

Google Me is rumored to be a social networked being designed by Google as a potential Facebook competitor. Google has recently experimented with social products like Google Wave and Google Buzz, but what sets Google Me apart from these products is the high priority being given the product.

As Facebook continues to grow and become more of a dominant force on the web, Google is being forced to meet them head on in an arena that isn't quite Google's strength: social networking.

And while Google Me may be Google's answer to Facebook, this isn't the first time Google has been asked the question. Google's previous attempt at building a social network, Orkut, found a nice audience in Brazil, but failed to take hold in a United States that was more focused on MySpace at the time.

Google does have one major advantage in building out a full-fledged social network: Gmail. The contact lists in Gmail can form the backbone of friendship relationships for a social network, but if Google wants to compete with Facebook, they'll need a development platform that brings third-party apps to Google Me.

But just repeating Facebook won't be enough to pry people away from the social network. Google Me must offer people something new, or at least, something secure. Facebook has come under fire for its lack of solid privacy settings, which could provide the 'in' Google Me needs to entice users to switch social networks.

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