Google to add social features, not to kill FB

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Mountain View, Sep 15: Slaying all speculations of a 'Facebook Killer' from Google, the search engine giant has said that it was planning on adding a social layer to all its products but did not have an entirely new service to offer.

Speaking at the Google Zeitgeist conference on Tuesday, Sep 14, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said, “We"re trying to take Google"s (Google) core products and add a social component.

"If you think about it, it's obvious. With your permission, knowing more about who your friends are, we can provide more tailored recommendations. Search quality can get better."

This comes after the tech world has been set abuzz over Google building a Facebook competitor, dubbed as 'Google Me', over the past few months. These rumours were powered by developments such as Google acquiring Angstro, a service that brings intelligent search results on someone"s professional network, as well as social app company Slide.

Dismissing these talks, Schmidt said, "Everybody has convinced themselves that there's some huge project about to get announced next week. And I can assure you that's not the case."

Google hoped to at least get access to Facebook users' contact lists so that people can grow their social network on Google.

"The best thing that would happen is for Facebook to open up its data. Failing that, there are other ways to get that information," Mr Schmidt said.

While Wall Street Journal suggested that Google plans to be something of a portal to the wider web for users, allowing access to content created on sites like Twitter and Flickr, Mashable predicts that the Google Me, which it claims is shaping to be more like Buzz, would be out by the end of 2010.

Google's planned social layer comes after Google Wave, the company's more recent social platform, collapsed and Google Buzz has failed to capture much attention.

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