At South by Southwest last weekend, some expected Google to make a big announcement about a much-awaited social product. Brafton has reported that Google Me rumors have been buzzing since last year, but a new service – Google Circles – was expected to be released at the Austin conference.
Now, Google officials have said there “may never be” such a product, but the search giant has been known to amend statements, so we think exploring the buzz is worthwhile.
The rumors started when Read Write Web posted an article about the possibility of the launch of Google Circles. The post describes photo, video and message sharing services. It also refers to Google's Chris Messina, creator of Hashtags, as the designer (though Messina declined to comment).
Adding fuel to the flame, AOL co-founder Steve Case tweeted the article, and well-known tech expert Tim O’Reilly replied, claiming, “I've seen google circles and it looks awesome. Tip of the iceberg, too.”
But the buzz seems unfounded, as All Things Digital reports that the launch rumors are false. In fact, the source claims Chris Messina told insiders at the Austin South by Southwest conference that he “didn't know what [the Read Write Web story] was talking about.”
O’Reilly also clarified his Tweet in an email to NetworkEffect, saying, “It's not a product, per se, and it's not a new social network. Just some research-y thinking about how you could better manage social data,” reports All Things Digital.
While Google execs will not be launching Circles at the Austin conference, marketers may want to follow news about Google's social developments if they hope to maintain ranks with the search giant. As Brafton reported, the company recently announced social search updates – and more could be in store on the Google social front.