Google: there’s room for Facebook rivals

Google believes there’s room for rivals to Facebook, as it refuses to deny rumours of its own social-networking service, “Google Me”.

Google: there's room for Facebook rivals

Digg founder Kevin Rose kicked off the Google Me rumours last week, but Google has so far refused to comment on whether it’s set to unveil a new social network of its own.

Facebook is an absolute phenomenon but there are other social networks which are successful too

Google’s UK chief executive Matt Brittin repeated that mantra, but suggested there’s room for more rivals in the social networking space.

“Facebook is an absolute phenomenon but there are other social networks which are successful too,” he said in an interview with The Telegraph. “We’ve got Orkut, which is fantastically successful in India and Brazil. And Bebo is successful in other countries.”

“It’s a phenomenon that is with us to stay. I think what we’ll see is the internet becoming more of a social place, as well as people being social within the context of social networks,” he added.

Earlier this year, Google sparked a privacy uproar with the launch of Buzz, its take on social networking linked to Gmail.

Pay wall

The Google chief also spoke about another of the company’s long-running adversaries – News Corporation. Brittin said Google was “supportive” of the The Times new pay wall, which went up last week.

“It is important for them to do, they need to experiment. I’m actually really supportive of them going behind a pay wall,” he said. “We’re concerned to see traditional media come through this transition successfully. Our tools and technology support people having paid content and still being found.”

However, Brittin doesn’t expect the experiment to be much of a success. “There is some content out there that is freely available from a wide range of sources and it is pretty unlikely that consumers will pay for that.”

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