Google To Launch Facebook Rival

Google is apparently preparing to launch a new social networking service to compete with Facebook.

According to a tweet by Digg founder Kevin Rose, Google plans to launch a service named Google Me in the near future.

He wrote: "Ok, umm, huge rumour: Google to launch facebook competitor very soon "Google Me", very credible source."

As Facebook and other social networking sites have not yet made full use of smartphones' capabilities, experts believe that a smartphone and tablet computer-centric social networking platform could dominate the market.

Google is not new to the social networking market. It owns social network Orkut, the favourite social networking site in Brazil and India, and developed its own the Buzz service which launched this year amid privacy issues that have held back its success.

The Next Web's Brad McCarty writes: "Knowing that a Google account is required to use Orkut, and a Gmail account is required for Buzz, we can safely assume that we're looking at roughly 200 million users to any service that would combine the two."

"It wouldn't take much for Google to not only be a thorn, but to actually come knocking with a heavy hand on the door of Facebook," he added.