Google rumoured to be prepping social network

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Google rumoured to be prepping social network

Talk of challenge to Facebook with 'Me' service.

Google is reportedly developing a social networking service to rival Facebook.

Reports from a pair of Silicon Valley executives have pointed to the company launching a social networking service called 'Me' some time in the near future.

In a tweet, Kevin Rose, founder of news aggregation site Digg, cited unnamed but "very credible" sources as being behind the reports, which have now been backed up by former Facebook chief technology officer Adam D'Angelo.

In a posting to his Quora web site, D'Angelo said that the impending service was not merely a rumour, but in fact a 'high priority' project at Google.

"They realised that Buzz wasn't enough and that they need to build out a full, first-class social network," D'Angelo wrote.

Such a network would not be Google's first venture into the social networking space. Since 2004 the company has operated Orkut, a social network that has seen little success in the US or Europe but has enjoyed popularity in developing nations such as Brazil and India.

Earlier this year, the company ventured deeper into the social networking space with Buzz. The service linked Google's Gmail platform with the company's other properties such as YouTube, Blogger, Picasa and Twitter.

The service received a less than stellar reception from users and privacy advocates, who accused the company of violating user privacy by automatically opting Gmail users onto the service.

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