Hugo Barra is not giving a head fake here, I don’t think:
Hugo Barra, Google’s director of mobile product management, said: “We are not working on building a traditional social network platform.
“We do think ‘social’ is a key ingredient … but we think of it more broadly. We think of social as an ingredient rather than a vertical platform.”
Talking today at the Monaco Media Forum, on a panel discussing the impact of mobile apps on the desktop web, Barra said that Google was working on developing social apps, but not a specific new social network.
Instead, Google is jumping ahead and building social into the fabric of the mobile app framework. That’s smart, but we will have to see if Google can actually adroitly build the right componentry. Historically their sense of social hase been pretty awful: Orkut, Wave, Buzz, for example.