Rumor or not, google is going to fight the social network market. its not an obvious reason of why they are doing it for the third time. The value of the social networks is only starting to emerge in Facebook and that is also debatable over what is the next phase there. it seems the fight here is not about the social network side of things, nor it is over the direct monetary value though its growing and can become huge.
The way Facebook is distributing its resources in login API, restore identities to the rightful owner and expanding the identity attributes and security settings, makes me ponder what is the value in that?
Looking at the WWW space there is some thing missing, some thing that no government will be happy to expose. its the identity management system, there is no way i can prove online who i am through any government institute. they give me my identity card and that is it. though in some countries you are needed to use your ID when making a transaction with a credit card over the internet it is still not a very robust way to achieve identification.
Facebook is attempting to get to the status of WWW Land identity management company/organisation, something only governments do in the real world. this indicates to me that the real social network value is not short term capitalization like advertisement or social marketplace but in the identity management of the WWW Land.
The firm that will rule the social network of today will rule the WWW identity management market of tomorrow.
But wait!! what is the value in that? well, ask AMEX/VISA or any other identity theft fighting company that will tell you how much they spend a year figuring out who is a legit person. How about making that donation on every transaction to Google or Facebook?
Google probably know this and are making their efforts to create an easy to adopt alternative to Facebook, that said they have not been ultra-successful in doing such and are losing ground, and people, to Facebook’s new buzz words like Social Marketplace (did i hear ebay and amazon?).
What do you think?