Google Me social network is a real project

A former Facebook executive has fanned the flames of rumours which suggest that Google is getting into the social networking game.

Yesterday we reported that Digg CEO Kevin Rose had tweeted about a new Facebook-like service called Google Me. Rose has since deleted that message, we'll have to assume at the request of Google.

Now Adam D’Angelo, who was Facebook’s CTO for years and is now founder of Q&A service Quora, has joined the lively discussion caused by the possibly-fake rumours.

"This is not a rumour," he said. "This is a real project. There are a large number of people working on it. I am completely confident about this."

Of course Google Me wouldn't be the search engine giant with aspirations of world domination's first foray into social networking. Google Buzz, a tool which bolts onto the company's Gmail service, has been widely criticised for both the manner in which it was implimented and its poor security. In short, Buzz was about as welcome as a Vuvuzela at Wimbledon.

D'Angelo reckons that Google is now looking at a full-fledged, standalone copy of the social networking leader which has become so popular its video streaming capabilities are making even the mighty YouTube take note. "They realised that Buzz wasn't enough and that they need to build out a full, first-class social network," he said. "They are modeling it off of Facebook."

Google is well known for encouraging its employees to take time out of their working day to work on side projects, but D'Angelo reckons Google Me is a fully-budgeted project designed to take on the seemingly unstoppable expansions of Facebook. "Unlike previous attempts, before Buzz at least, this is a high-priority project within Google," he said.

"They had assumed that Facebook's growth would slow as it grew, and that Facebook wouldn't be able to have too much leverage over them," he added, "but then it just didn't stop, and now they are really scared."