ADOTAS – In August, Scores.org released an impressive graphic showing Google’s growth by acquisition and partnership since 2001. More recent acquisitions such as virtual currency firm Jambool and widget-maker Slide as well as a partnership with social gaming kingpin Zynga show that Google’s focus is firmly set on social, especially as the world awaits the much rumored-about social network GoogleMe.
However, CEO Eric Schmidt told reporters at the Google Zeitgeist conference yesterday that instead of releasing the social network with a big bang, Big G will be layering in social networking features to its current core components.
“If you think about it, it’s obvious,” he said to a small group of lucky writers. “With your permission, knowing more about who your friends are, we can provide more tailored recommendations. Search quality can get better.”
In addition, Schmidt said the pace of acquisitions would not slow — so who’s next on the buying block?
But Schmidt did include a cryptic comment about building a Google social graph: “The best thing that would happen is for Facebook to open up its data…. Failing that, there are other ways to get that information.” Um… Like what?
Google could really use to get its social mojo working sooner rather than later. comScore recently noted that, for the first time, American users on average spent more time on Facebook than Google. Google is also in a war for talent with Facebook and Twitter — TechCrunch reported that Big G has been offering some ludicrous incentives to retain key personnel, such as 15%-20% raises.
Piecemeal might not be a bad way to go about launching a social network, especially after the huge negative reaction to the Gmail-based Buzz. However, advertisers and publishers will have to pray that the socializing of Google’s core components will be more digestible for than the recently unveiled Google Instant.