TechCrunch just posted an article in which they reveal that Google might be planning a “major assault” on the social networking scene.
I have written on the Google strategy before, and it seems that a lot of the things written down then are now becoming a reality. Google plans to open up all their applications, creating a social layer across all of them. But, in contradiction with Facebook, Google seems to have plans to open up the network two ways, not only allowing a user to us this layer across many different Google applications, but also across different social networks. It’s what many call “the web as a platform”. Scott Karp dismissed that term a while ago, quoting Google’s Jeff Huber:
A lot that you have heard here is about platforms and who is going to win. That is Paleolithic thinking. The Web has already won. The web is the Platform. So let’s go build the programmable Web.
This of course being a direct declaration of war on Facebook.
The most important asset according to Scott is data, and Google has plenty of it. Actually, I don’t really agree with Scott on this. Data is static, it is the application or usage of data that is important. It is not just about data, it is about interaction.
Google is definitely in a position to open up the social network space and even fill in some of my wishes to get out of the web 2.0 trap, I am wondering if they are going to make the right choices, especially when it comes to privacy. Google probably already knows everything there is to know about me, but can they handle my privacy as well?
And more importantly. Will they think user centric, or simply connect everything because technically they can create the APIs.
But my main interest will be on their plans of their mobile strategy. Opening up the web is one thing, being able to connect the web to the mobile space is much more interesting. That is where the money is. Through the mobile space we can get out of the web 2.0 advertisement trap and create working business models that are not based upon ad harassment.
Will Google understand this? They will, but as their business model is advertisement, I doubt they will fill it in the right (user centric) way.