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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 (opens in new tab) 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.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.