Will Orkut Become Social Networking Website Google Me?

Google already have the pieces of a gigantic puzzle that could provide with a potential rival - Google Me - to the hegemony of Facebook in the social networking arena.

Let's count them; Mail, Talk, Voice, Buzz, Wave, Orkut, Profile, Picasa, Youtube, Latitude, Friend Connect and probably a few more that we forgot.

One of them at least, Orkut, is actually a fully-fledged, popular social networking website that is in the top 100 online internet properties and should attract around 30 to 35 million visitors a month.

Granted this is only a fraction of the 500 million visitors a month Facebook receives (or the 190 million visitors Twitter claims to host every month), but then Google has never really pushed Orkut in the limelight and the site still remain something of a "hobby" project for Google and still carries the Beta tag.

As Chris Matyszczyk of Cnet astutely puts it, Google will have to significantly improve on what they have managed to achieve with Orkut if they want to rival Facebook; and this means learning a few tricks from Mark Zuckerberg and his team.

This will mean a tighter integration with the rest of the Google ecosystem and a much, much cleaner interface. Maybe it is time for Google to stop reinventing the wheel and start using existing resources instead.

Interestingly, Google already owns Google.me, which is the Croatian version of the search engine but still doesn't carry me.google.com.