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Speculation that Google is planning to set up its own social networking site is growing.
Media reports in recent weeks suggest that the search engine may unveil a product that would put it in direct competition with sites such as Facebook.
Indeed, outlets such as Mashable and Erictric have reported this week that Google is preparing for the launch of the product by using focus groups to measure people’s social networking habits.
Bertrand Vasquez of Erictric acknowledged that this does not confirm that a Google social network is in development, but said it is “definitely hinting at something”.
Similar views have been expressed by Leena Rao of TechCrunch, who stated that while the survey does not mean the site is in development, “it is another piece of evidence pointing in that direction”.
This could potentially influence the promotional strategies of firms that use SEO services and social media as part of their marketing mix.
Matt Brittin, UK managing director for Google, recently told the Herald that firms which do not operate a website could potentially be missing out on lots of opportunities to attract new business.